Female Age-Related Differences in Biomechanics and Muscle Activity During Descents on the Outstretched Arms

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The purposes of this study were to examine female age differences in: (1) upper extremity (UE) and trunk muscle activity, elbow joint moment, loading force, and UE energy absorption during a controlled forward body descent; and (2) UE muscle strength. Twenty young (mean 24.8 ± 3.4 years) and 20 older (68.4 ± 5.7 years) women were assessed via dynamometry for isometric, concentric, and eccentric UE strength and performed forward descents on force plates at three body lean angles (60°, 45°, and 30° from horizontal). Significant differences (p < .05) were found for muscle strength, biomechanics, and muscle activity. Concentric UE strength averaged 15% lower in older women. At 30° body lean, older women absorbed less energy. Older women had greater biceps brachii activation and less external oblique activation at all body lean angles. Age differences in muscle strength, activation, and energy absorption may contribute to fall-related injury risk.

Lattimer, Lanovaz, and Farthing are with the College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Madill and Kim are with School of Physical Therapy, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Robinovitch is with the School of Engineering Science, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Arnold is with the School of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Lauren J. Lattimer at lauren.lattimer@acadiau.ca.
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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