Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Gait Posture. 2009 Aug;30(2):233-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.05.004. Epub 2009 May 31.

Altered vision destabilizes gait in older persons.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. jorunn.helbostad@ntnu.no

Abstract

This study assessed the effects of dim light and four experimentally induced changes in vision on gait speed and footfall and trunk parameters in older persons walking on level ground. Using a quasi-experimental design, gait characteristics were assessed in full light, dim light, and in dim light combined with manipulations resulting in reduced depth vision, double vision, blurred vision, and tunnel vision, respectively. A convenience sample of 24 home-dwelling older women and men (mean age 78.5 years, SD 3.4) with normal vision for their age and able to walk at least 10 m without assistance participated. Outcome measures were gait speed and spatial and temporal parameters of footfall and trunk acceleration, derived from an electronic gait mat and accelerometers. Dim light alone had no effect. Vision manipulations combined with dim light had effect on most footfall parameters but few trunk parameters. The largest effects were found regarding double and tunnel vision. Men increased and women decreased gait speed following manipulations (p=0.017), with gender differences also in stride velocity variability (p=0.017) and inter-stride medio-lateral trunk acceleration variability (p=0.014). Gender effects were related to differences in body height and physical functioning. Results indicate that visual problems lead to a more cautious and unstable gait pattern even under relatively simple conditions. This points to the importance of assessing vision in older persons and correcting visual impairments where possible.

PMID:
19487126
DOI:
10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.05.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center