Title page for ETD etd-07252003-111849

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lloyd, Emily Marie
Author's Email Address emlloyd@vt.edu
URN etd-07252003-111849
Title Performance Symmetry and Maximum Joint Torques During Recovery from a Simulated Trip
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Madigan, Michael L. Committee Chair
Grant, John Wallace Committee Member
Lockhart, Thurmon E. Committee Member
  • fall
  • symmetry
  • joint torques
  • elderly
  • trip
Date of Defense 2003-07-16
Availability mixed
Tripping causes a significant number of falls in the elderly. These falls often result in medical costs, hospitalization, disability, decrease in quality of life, and sometimes death. Knowledge of why trips occur and the mechanics of successful recovery from a trip is critical to increasing knowledge of how to prevent falls due to trips. Two separate studies are reported in this thesis. The first study assessed if men recover from a trip equally well when stepping with their dominant or non-dominant lower limbs. An experimental model of tripping was used to determine each subject's trip recovery capability when stepping with the dominant or non-dominant lower limb. Although most subjects were able to recover better when stepping with one lower limb compared to the other, there was no recognizable trend across the subjects. Based on these results, there is insufficient data to recommend the preferential investigation of the dominant or non-dominant lower limb in future trip research. The second study investigated peak joint torques after stepping to recover from a simulated trip. The same protocol as the first study was used for simulating trips. Increasing trip severity resulted in increased ankle plantarflexor torque in young subjects and increased hip extensor torque in both young and older subjects. Older men used higher hip extensor torques and lower knee extensor torques compared to young men. Implications to falls from trips are discussed.
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