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Why do older adults stand-up differently to young adults?: investigation of compensatory movement strategies in sit-to-walk

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Title: Why do older adults stand-up differently to young adults?: investigation of compensatory movement strategies in sit-to-walk
Authors: Van der Kruk, E
Strutton, P
Koizia, LJ
Fertleman, M
Reilly, P
Bull, AMJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Functional motor redundancy enables humans to move with distinct muscle activation patterns while achieving a similar outcome. Since humans select similar strategies, there seems to be an optimal control. However, older adults move differently to young adults. The question is whether this is this due to an altered reinforcement scheme, altered sensory inputs, or due to alterations in the neuromusculoskeletal systems, so that it is no longer optimal or possible to execute the same movement strategies. The aim of this study was to analyse natural compensation strategies in the vital daily-life-task, sit-to-walk, in relation to neuromuscular capacity and movement objectives in younger (27.2 ± 4.6 years, N = 27, 14♀) and elderly (75.9 ± 6.3 years, N = 23, 12♀) adults. Aspects of the neuromuscular system that are prone to age-related decline and feasible to quantify were assessed (i.e. strength, nerve conductivity, fear of falling). Kinematics and muscle activity were recorded and joint kinetics were estimated using biomechanical models. Elderly men consistently used their arms when standing up. This strategy was not associated with a lack of or a reduction in strength, but with a reduction, but no lack of, ankle joint range of motion, and with increased fear of falling. The results show that humans preferentially maintain a minimum threshold of neuromuscular reserve to cope with uncertainties which results in compensation prior to coming up against physical limitations. Smaller base of support while standing up, a compensatory strategy with possibly greater risk of falls, was associated with muscular weakness, and longer nerve conduction latencies.
Issue Date: 5-Sep-2022
Date of Acceptance: 5-Aug-2022
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/99739
DOI: 10.1038/s41514-022-00094-x
ISSN: 2731-6068
Publisher: Nature Research
Journal / Book Title: npj Aging
Volume: 8
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Open Access location: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41514-022-00094-x
Article Number: ARTN 13
Appears in Collections:Bioengineering
Department of Surgery and Cancer
Faculty of Medicine

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