Effect of Walking Adaptability on an Uneven Surface by a Stepping Pattern on Walking Activity After Stroke

Yusuke Sekiguchi, Keita Honda, Shin Ichi Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Real-world walking activity is important for poststroke patients because it leads to their participation in the community and physical activity. Walking activity may be related to adaptability to different surface conditions of the ground. The purpose of this study was to clarify whether walking adaptability on an uneven surface by step is related to daily walking activity in patients after stroke. We involved 14 patients who had hemiparesis after stroke (age: 59.4 ± 8.9 years; post-onset duration: 70.7 ± 53.5 months) and 12 healthy controls (age: 59.5 ± 14.2 years). The poststroke patients were categorized as least limited community ambulators or unlimited ambulators. For the uneven surface, the study used an artificial grass surface (7 m long, 2-cm leaf length). The subjects repeated even surface walking and the uneven surface walking trials at least two times at a comfortable speed. We collected spatiotemporal and kinematic gait parameters on both the even and uneven surfaces using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. After we measured gait, the subjects wore an accelerometer around the waist for at least 4 days. We measured the number of steps per day using the accelerometer to evaluate walking activity. Differences in gait parameters between the even and uneven surfaces were calculated to determine how the subjects adapted to an uneven surface while walking. We examined the association between the difference in parameter measurements between the two surface properties and walking activity (number of steps per day). Walking activity significantly and positively correlated with the difference in paretic step length under the conditions of different surface properties in the poststroke patients (r = 0.65, p = 0.012) and step width in the healthy controls (r = 0.68, p = 0.015). The strategy of increasing the paretic step length, but not step width, on an uneven surface may lead to a larger base of support, which maintains stability during gait on an uneven surface in poststroke patients, resulting in an increased walking activity. Therefore, in poststroke patients, an increase in paretic step length during gait on an uneven surface might be more essential for improving walking activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number762223
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 4


  • compensatory movement
  • stroke
  • uneven surface
  • walking activity
  • walking adaptability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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