Maneuvering Over an Obstacle in Dim Lighting: Joint Torque Distribution and Implications for Older Adults
As research has shown, older adults tend to have less accuracy in perceiving and maneuvering around obstacles in dim lighting. This research study intends to shed light on how joint loading changes when older adults need to walk over an obstacle in the dark. For this study, 10 young, healthy adult participants had reflective markers placed on anatomical landmarks and joint endpoints to track their movement with motion capture cameras. All 10 participants walked across a force platform, and each participant's ground reaction forces and joint torques at the ankle, knee, and hip were calculated. Participants walked at a preferred speed across the force platform under these conditions: flat ground in the light, stepping over an obstacle in the light, flat ground in the dark, and stepping over an obstacle in the dark. Analyzing these results will allow me to determine changes in loading patterns that are distributed across the ankle, knee, and hip as people walk over obstacles in the dark and light. Findings from this study will be very useful to the older adult population in which obstacle maneuvering has greater safety implications due to the high prevalence of falls in this age group.