Physical activity assists older individuals’ functional ability and postural stability. Recently, Scottish country dance (SCD) was reported as being a beneficial form of physical activity for functional ability in older females. This study aims to examine the effect of SCD on postural stability. Scottish country dancers (n = 20) were compared with physically active controls (n = 33) for static postural sway measured on a force platform. The Romberg and Tandem stances were used under ‘eyes open’ and ‘eyes closed’ conditions. Ninety-five percent ellipse area and sway velocity were calculated from the center of pressure displacement. Ninety-five percent ellipse area was the same for both groups in all tests. The control group had greater sway velocity for all tests (P < .01) except Tandem eyes closed. SCD participation resulted in similar postural sway as participation in other physical activities, however nondancers may need a greater amount of regulatory activity to maintain balance.
Susan Dewhurst, Leslie Peacock and Theodoros M. Bampouras
Leslie Peacock, Allan Hewitt, David A. Rowe and Rona Sutherland
The study investigated (a) walking intensity (stride rate and energy expenditure) under three speed instructions; (b) associations between stride rate, age, height, and walking intensity; and (c) synchronization between stride rate and music tempo during overground walking in a population of healthy older adults.
Twenty-nine participants completed 3 treadmill-walking trials and 3 overground-walking trials at 3 self-selected speeds. Treadmill VO2 was measured using indirect calorimetry. Stride rate and music tempo were recorded during overground-walking trials.
Mean stride rate exceeded minimum thresholds for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) under slow (111.41 ± 11.93), medium (118.17 ± 11.43), and fast (123.79 ± 11.61) instructions. A multilevel model showed that stride rate, age, and height have a significant effect (p < .01) on walking intensity.
Healthy older adults achieve MVPA with stride rates that fall below published minima for MVPA. Stride rate, age, and height are significant predictors of energy expenditure in this population. Music can be a useful way to guide walking cadence.
David A. Rowe, David McMinn, Leslie Peacock, Arjan W. P. Buis, Rona Sutherland, Emma Henderson and Allan Hewitt
Walking cadence has shown promise for estimating walking intensity in healthy adults. Auditory cues have been shown to improve gait symmetry in populations with movement disorders. We investigated the walking cadence-energy expenditure relationship in unilateral transtibial amputees (TTAs), and the potential of music cues for regulating walking cadence and improving gait symmetry.
Seventeen unilateral TTAs performed 2 5-min treadmill walking trials, followed by 2 5-min overground walking trials (self-regulated “brisk” intensity, and while attempting to match a moderate-tempo digital music cue).
Walking cadence significantly (P < .001) and accurately (R 2 = .55, SEE = 0.50 METs) predicted energy expenditure, and a cadence of 86 steps·min−1 was equivalent to a 3-MET intensity. Although most participants were able to match cadence to prescribed music tempo, gait symmetry was not improved during the music-guided condition, compared with the self-regulated condition.
This is the first study to investigate the utility of walking cadence for monitoring and regulating walking intensity in adults with lower limb prosthesis. Cadence has similar or superior accuracy as an indicator of walking intensity in this population, compared with the general population, and adults with a unilateral TTA are capable of walking at moderate intensity and above for meaningful bouts of time.