2012 Volume 7 Issue 2 Pages 211-222
The objective of this study was to obtain optimal walking form and orthosis during the exercise of walking in water for elderly people in order to prevent falling down. Since it is effective to increase the muscle strength of iliopsoas and tibialis anterior to prevent falling down, the walking form and orthosis, by which these muscles can be trained, was optimally designed by a simulator which can compute body load considering fluid force. The walking form obtained by the simulation was the one in which the shank is quickly and widely moved in the end of the swing phase. Since a large fluid force acted on the lower limbs by this motion, the target muscles were greatly exerted to resist the fluid force. On the other hand, the orthosis obtained by the simulation was one whose width and depth were small, and the density of the foot part was large. Since the large gravity and inertial force acted by the large density of the foot part, the target muscles were greatly exerted to resist these forces. Therefore, both the walking form and orthosis can be effective for the rehabilitation of elderly people.