Types of falls and strategies for maintaining stability on an unstable surface
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Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warszawa, Poland (Faculty of Rehabilitation)
Online publication date: 2018-03-15
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Michalina Błażkiewicz   

Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Faculty of Rehabilitation, Marymoncka 34, 00-968 Warszawa, Poland
Med Pr 2018;69(3):245–252
Background: Falls constitute an important health issue. They cause significant morbidity, mortality and have marked psychological effects on the individual, too. The aim of this study has been to determine parameters describing human movement strategies for balance and the reaction if balance is lost as a result of an unstable ground, and to attempt to describe the types of falls. Material and Methods: The study group comprised 20 volunteers. Kinematic parameters of falling and dynamic stability were measured using the Vicon Motion System and the Biodex Balance System SD. During the test, subjects stood for 20 s on the tilting platform. The analysis was conducted based on the first recordings, when the participants were not prepared for the event and their reactions were natural. A cluster analysis tool was applied to divide the behavior of people during the test. Results: Based on motion range for kinematic parameters, the cluster analysis revealed 2 types of human behavior: falling (stepping) and restoring balance. Two types of falls were also observed: side and back falls. Moreover, on the basis of angular values for tilting plate, 4 zones were determined. The frequency of access to these zones by each joint revealed 3 strategies to maintain balance: ankle, knee and hip strategy. Conclusions: A set of initial conditions that may be used for future numerical simulations was also determined. Furthermore, the results presented in this study are likely to support the analysis of the effects and the falling patterns. Med Pr 2018;69(3):245–252