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Balance, Coordination, and Gait

As human beings age, the gradual deterioration of several biological systems (e.g., vestibular, musculoskeletal, neural, cardiovascular systems) precipitates a general decline in locomotor function, balance, and coordination. Poor balance and reduced gait speed together account for a major reduction in the quality of life of older adults and are predispositions for many chronic health problems. Such limitations can negatively affect quality of life, lead to a decline in independent living, and impose an increased economic and social cost. With life expectancy increasing, there will be a simultaneous rise in the number of individuals living with chronic diseases and impairments that affect balance, coordination, and gait.

Gait in the Elderly

Gait impairments such as a decrease in walking speed and step length, reduction in balance-righting reactions, and alterations ...

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