The Validity of Gait Variability and Fractal Dynamics Obtained From a Single, Body-Fixed Triaxial Accelerometer

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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A single triaxial accelerometer has the ability to collect a large amount of continuous gait data to quantitatively assess the control of gait. Unfortunately, there is limited information on the validity of gait variability and fractal dynamics obtained from this device. The purpose of this study was to test the concurrent validity of the variability and fractal dynamic measures of gait provided by a triaxial accelerometer during a continuous 10 minute walk in older adults. Forty-one healthy older adults were fitted with a single triaxial accelerometer at the waist, as well as a criterion footswitch device before completing a ten minute overground walk. The concurrent validity of six outcome measures was examined using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and 95% limits of agreement. All six dependent variables measured by the accelerometer displayed excellent agreement with the footswitch device. Mean parameters displayed the highest validity, followed by measures of variability and fractal dynamics in stride times and measures of variability and fractal dynamics in step times. These findings suggest that an accelerometer is a valid and unique device that has the potential to provide clinicians with valid quantitative data for assessing their clients’ gait.

Dylan Kobsar is with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada. Chad Olson and Raman Paranjape are with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada. John M. Barden is with the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada. Address author correspondence to Dylan Kobsar at dylan.kobsar@ucalgary.ca.