Japanese Journal of Health Promotion and Physical Therapy
Online ISSN : 2187-3305
Print ISSN : 2186-3741
ISSN-L : 2186-3741
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Relationship between step length and physical function in community-dwelling older women
A study using “height - 100cm” as the reference step length
Kohei MoriShin MurataAkio GodaYuki KikuchiNozomi MitsumaruHideki Nakano
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JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS

2024 Volume 13 Issue 3 Pages 111-116

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Abstract

The usual walking step length of older adults aligns with a simple formula: height - 100 cm. This study aimed to examine the clinical significance of this simple formula for calculating step length. A total of 1 33 elderly women were divided into three groups based on their measured step lengths during usual walking compared to the step length calculated using the simple formula to establish a reference step length: a group with shortened step length below the reference value (n=19), a group with slightly increased step length that does not exceed “reference value +10 cm” (n=53), and a group with step length that exceeds the reference value by at least 10 cm (n=61). The physical functions of these three groups were compared. The results showed that lower limb muscle strength (as measured by knee-extension strength and a 30 s chair-stand test) was significantly lower in the groups with shortened and slightly increased step lengths than in the group with increased step length. Furthermore, the timed up and go test performed to assess dynamic balance revealed significantly longer completion times in the group with shortened step length than in the groups with slightly increased and increased step lengths. These findings indicate the potential utility of measuring step length to be less than “reference value +10 cm” as a useful screening indicator for detecting decline in lower limb muscle strength and measuring step length to be “below the reference value” for detecting not only decline in lower limb muscle strength but also reduced dynamic balance.

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© 2024 Japan Society of Health Promotion and Physical Therapy

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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.ja
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