Effects of Foot–Floor Friction on Trip-Induced Falls During Shuffling Gait: A Simulation Study

Takeshi Yamaguchi, Kenichi Nakatani, Tomoki Hirose, Takashi Yoshida, Kei Masani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Tripping while walking has been identified as the most common cause of falls among the elderly as they tend to utilize a shuffling gait while walking, which increases the risk of falling. Since tripping occurs when toes make unexpected contact with objects on the floor, a number of studies have investigated the impact of foot clearance on the risk of tripping. However, only a few studies have examined the effects of foot–floor friction on the risk of tripping. Thus, in this current study, we investigated the effect of foot–floor friction on the probability of trip-induced falls during normal and shuffling gaits in a computational simulation study. We used a computational model with neural rhythm generators and neuromusculoskeletal systems to simulate gait in a self-organized manner. By changing the parameters of the neural rhythm generator, gait parameters such as step length, cadence, and foot clearance were automatically reduced, which simulated the shuffling gait. To alter the foot–floor friction, we changed the spring coefficient ratio of the floor in horizontal and vertical directions. As per our results, it was determined that slip-induced falls occurred under low foot–floor friction conditions in both normal and shuffling gaits, whereas trip-induced falls occurred under high foot–floor friction conditions only with a shuffling gait. These results suggest that optimal foot–floor friction may prevent trip- and slip-induced falls among the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Approaches
EditorsNancy L. Black, W. Patrick Neumann, Ian Noy
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Pages856-860
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9783030746131
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 2021 Jun 132021 Jun 18

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Volume223 LNNS
ISSN (Print)2367-3370
ISSN (Electronic)2367-3389

Conference

Conference21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period21/6/1321/6/18

Keywords

  • Friction
  • Neuromusculoskeletal model
  • Shuffling gait
  • Trip-induced fall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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