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J Phys Ther Sci. 2019 Jun;31(6):475-481. doi: 10.1589/jpts.31.475. Epub 2019 Jun 1.

Motion analysis of operating a balance exercise assist robot system during forward and backward movements.

Author information

1
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine: 465 Kajii-cho, Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan.
2
Department of Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.
3
Department of Rehabilitation, University Hospital, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.

Abstract

[Purpose] Stand-and-ride personal mobility devices controlled by movements of the user's center of gravity are used for balance training. We aimed to describe the physical activity required to operate this type of mobility device. [Participants and Methods] Eleven healthy males performed the following tasks: 1) moving their center of gravity forward or backward while standing on the floor (control task) and, 2) moving the mobility device forward or backward by moving their center of gravity (experimental task). [Results] We observed that the displacement of the center of gravity and the center of pressure, as well as angular displacements of the hips and knee joints, and maximum muscle activities of the biceps femoris, the medial head of the gastrocnemius and peroneus longus muscles were lesser during the experimental than during the control task. The distance moved by the device was significantly greater than the displacement of the user's center of gravity during the experimental task. [Conclusion] We observed that moving the device forward or backward required lesser physical activity than that required to shift the user's center of gravity forward or backward while standing on the floor. Additionally, we observed that even a small displacement of the user's center of gravity produced a large displacement of the device. We concluded that during balance training, the greater and more easily perceived movement of the mobility device would provide helpful feedback to the user.

KEYWORDS:

Motion analysis; Personal mobility device; Postural control

Conflict of interest statement

The authors received support from Toyota Motor Corporation through the loan of the balance exercise assist robot.

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