2016 Volume 28 Issue 3 Pages 794-801
[Purpose] This study examined age-related differences in muscle control for support and propulsion during walking in both males and females in order to develop optimal exercise regimens for muscle control. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty elderly people and 20 young people participated in this study. Coordinates of anatomical landmarks and ground reaction force during walking were obtained using a 3D motion analysis system and force plates. Muscle forces during walking were estimated using OpenSim. Muscle modules were obtained by using non-negative matrix factorization analysis. A two-way analysis of covariance was performed to examine the difference between the elderly and the young in muscle weightings using walking speed as a covariate. The similarities in activation timing profiles between the elderly and the young were analyzed by cross-correlation analysis in males and females. [Results] In the elderly, there was a change in the coordination of muscles around the ankle, and muscles of the lower extremity exhibited co-contraction in late stance. Timing and shape of these modules were similar between elderly and young people. [Conclusion] Our results suggested that age-related alteration of muscle control was associated with support and propulsion during walking.