Restoring Walking Complexity in Older Adults Through Arm-in-Arm Walking: Were Almurad et al.’s (2018) Results an Artifact?

in Motor Control
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  • 1 University of Montpellier
  • | 2 Union Nationale Sportive Léo Lagrange
  • | 3 Montpellier University Hospital
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The analysis of stride series revealed a loss of complexity in older people, which correlated with the falling propensity. A recent experiment evidenced an increase of walking complexity in older participants when they walked in close synchrony with a younger companion. Moreover, a prolonged experience of such synchronized walking yielded a persistent restoration of complexity. This result, however, was obtained with a unique healthy partner, and it could be related to a particular partner’s behavior. The authors’ aim was to replicate this important finding using a different healthy partner and to compare the results to those previously obtained. The authors successfully replicated the previous results: synchronization yielded an attraction of participants’ complexity toward that of their partner and a restoration of complexity that persisted in two posttests, 2 and 6 weeks after the end of the training sessions. This study shows that this complexity restoration protocol can be applied successfully with another partner, and allows us to conclude that it can be generalized.

Ezzina, Roume, Pla, Blain, and Delignières are with EuroMov Digital Health in Motion, University of Montpellier, IMT Mines Ales, Montpellier, France. Ezzina is also with the Union Nationale Sportive Léo Lagrange, Paris, France. Blain is also with the Montpellier University Hospital, Montpellier, France.

Delignières (didier.delignieres@umontpellier.fr) is corresponding author.
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