Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science (MS)
Health and Nutritional Sciences
assistive devices, elderly, gait, walkers, walking aids
INTRODUCTION: Millions of individuals with ambulatory difficulties rely on walking aids to maintain independence and mobility. However, users of traditional walkers typically exhibit increased forward lean of their trunk while using the assistive device. The KB Balance Trainer is a new posterior walker designed to facilitate a more erect position during gait. PURPOSE: To compare gait mechanics across three walking conditions: unassisted, using a traditional walker, and using the KB Balance Trainer. METHODS: Seven adults with experience using walkers due to ambulatory difficulties participated in the study. The study consisted of one training session and one gait analysis session. The training session was 30 minutes of instruction and practice on how to properly use each assistive device. During the data collection, participants walked on flat ground in three walking conditions at a self-selected speed: walking with the traditional walker (TW), the KB Balance Trainer (KB), or unassisted (UW). RESULTS, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION: Gait speed increased similarly while using both assisted devices compared to unassisted walking, showing that the KB was as effective as the TW to aid in mobility. The KB showed slightly less mean trunk flexion than the TW. However, mean trunk flexion was greater while using either device compared to unassisted walking. Therefore, neither device was able to promote erect posture. In addition, hand to hip distance showed that participants incorrectly used the KB Balance Trainer. It is possible that the KB Balance Trainer can facilitate a more erect posture than a traditional walker if sufficient training is provided and if it is used correctly.
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted
Zanini, Silvia, "Differences in Walking Mechanics between a Traditional Walker and the KB Balance Trainer" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3361.