Perturbation exercises during treadmill walking improve pelvic and trunk motion in older adults—A randomized control trial

Yoav Gimmon, Raziel Riemer, Ilan Kurz, Amir Shapiro, Ronen Debbi, Itshak Melzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Most falls among older adults occur while walking. Pelvic and trunk motions are required to maintain stability during walking. We aimed to explore whether training that incorporates unexpected loss of balance during walking that evokes balance recovery reactions will improve pelvic, thorax, and trunk kinematics at different walking speeds. Methods Fifty-three community-dwelling older adults (age 80.1 ± 5.6 years) were randomly allocated to an intervention group (n = 27) or a control group (n = 26). Both groups received 24 training sessions over 3 months. The intervention group received unexpected perturbation of balance exercises during treadmill walking, while the control group performed treadmill walking only. The primary outcome measures were the pelvic, thorax, and trunk motion. The secondary outcome measures were stride times, length, and width. Results Compared to control, participation in the intervention program led to improvement in pelvic and trunk transverse rotations especially at participants’ preferred walking speed. No improvement where found in pelvic list while thorax transverse rotation improved in both groups. Conclusions Pelvic and trunk transverse motion, parameters previously reported to deteriorate during aging, associated with gait stability and a risk factor for falls, can be improved by gait training that includes unexpected loss of balance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Falls
  • Gait kinematics
  • Old adults
  • Perturbation training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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