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Data from: Body acceleration as indicator for walking economy in an ageing population

Citation

Valenti, Giulio; Bonomi, Alberto G.; Westerterp, Klaas R. (2016), Data from: Body acceleration as indicator for walking economy in an ageing population, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.pk462

Abstract

Background: In adults, walking economy declines with increasing age and negatively influences walking speed. This study aims at detecting determinants of walking economy from body acceleration during walking in an ageing population. Methods: 35 healthy elderly (18 males, age 51 to 83 y, BMI 25.5±2.4 kg/m2) walked on a treadmill. Energy expenditure was measured with indirect calorimetry while body acceleration was sampled at 60Hz with a tri-axial accelerometer (GT3X+, ActiGraph), positioned on the lower back. Walking economy was measured as lowest energy needed to displace one kilogram of body mass for one meter while walking (WCostmin, J/m/kg). Gait features were extracted from the acceleration signal and included in a model to predict WCostmin. Results: On average WCostmin was 2.43±0.42 J/m/kg and correlated significantly with gait rate (r2 = 0.21, p<0.01) and regularity along the frontal (anteroposterior) and lateral (mediolateral) axes (r2 = 0.16, p<0.05 and r2 = 0.12, p<0.05 respectively). Together, the three variables explained 46% of the inter-subject variance (p<0.001) with a standard error of estimate of 0.30 J/m/kg. WCostmin and regularity along the frontal and lateral axes were related to age (WCostmin: r2 = 0.44, p<0.001; regularity: r2 = 0.16, p<0.05 and r2 = 0.12, p<0.05 respectively frontal and lateral). Conclusions: The age associated decline in walking economy is induced by the adoption of an increased gait rate and by irregular body acceleration in the horizontal plane.

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