A Comparison of Walking Behavior during the Instrumented TUG and Habitual Gait

Journal Article


The timed up and go test (TUG) is a common clinical functional balance test often used to complement findings on sensorimotor changes due to aging or sensory/motor dysfunction. The instrumented TUG can be used to obtain objective postural and gait measures that are more sensitive to mobility changes. We investigated whether gait and body coordination during TUG is representative of walking. We examined the walking phase of the TUG and compared gait metrics (stride duration and length, walking speed, and step frequency) and head/trunk accelerations to normal walking. The latter is a key aspect of postural control and can also reveal changes in sensory and motor function. Forty participants were recruited into three groups: young adults, older adults, and older adults with visual impairment. All performed the TUG and a short walking task wearing ultra-lightweight wireless IMUs on the head, chest, and right ankle. Gait and head/trunk acceleration metrics were comparable across tasks. Further, stride length and walking speed were correlated with the participants’ age. Those with visual impairment walked significantly slower than sighted older adults. We suggest that the TUG can be a valuable tool for examining gait and stability during walking without the added time or space constraints.







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