Walking is a complex task that we normally don’t think about while we’re doing it. The ability to walk without active attention is called automaticity. Seniors often experience cognitive and sensory declines as they age and many have to devote increasing amounts of direct attention to the act of walking. This “executive control” is a form of mental multitasking that disrupts automaticity and elevates the risk of a fall.
Gait analysis can detect changes in mobility patterns and integrity that are not perceptible to the naked eye. Changes in gait are in many cases an accurate fall predictor. Early detection of fall risk allows early intervention.
Several dual-task-related gait changes have been identified as fall predictors. Early detection allows early intervention.
Click here to read a representative study.
Bridenbaugh S, A, Kressig R, W: Laboratory Review: The Role of Gait Analysis in Seniors’ Mobility and Fall Prevention. Gerontology 2011;57:256-264. doi: 10.1159/000322194