Angular momentum regulation may dictate the slip severity in young adults Academic Article uri icon


  • Falls vastly affect the economy and the society with their high cost, injuries, and mortalities. Slipping is the main trigger for falling. Yet, individuals differ in their ability to recover from slips. Mild slippers can accommodate slips without falling, whereas severe slippers indicate inadequate or slow pre-or post-slip control that make them more prone to fall after a slip. Knowing the discrepancies in different kinematic and kinetic variables in mild and severe slippers helps pinpoint the adverse control responsible for severe slipping and falling. This study examined Center of Mass (COM) height, sagittal angular momentum ( H ), upper body kinematics, and the duration of single/double phase in mild and severe slippers for both normal walking and slipping to identify their differences and possible relationships. Possible causality of such relationships were also studied by observing the time-lead of the deviations. Twenty healthy young adults walked in a long walkway for several trials and were slipped unexpectedly. They were classified into mild and severe slippers based on their slip severity. No inter-group differences were observed in the upper extremity kinematics. It was found that mild and severe slippers do not differ in the studied variables during normal gait; however, they do show significant differences through slipping. Compared to mild slippers, sever slippers lowered their COM height following a slip, presented higher H , and shortened their single support phase ( p -value<0.05 for all). Based on the time-lead observed in H over all other variables suggests that angular momentum may be the key variable in controlling slips.

author list (cited authors)

  • Nazifi, M. M., Beschorner, K., & Hur, P.

publication date

  • January 1, 2019 11:11 AM