Contribution of the support limb in control of angular momentum after tripping

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    Abstract

    Tripping over an obstacle can result in a fall when the forward angular momentum, obtained from impact with the obstacle, is not arrested. Angular momentum can be restrained by proper placement of the recovery limb, anteriorly of the body, but possibly also by a reaction in the contralateral support limb during push-off. The purpose of this study was to quantify the extent to which the support limb contributes to recovery after tripping by providing time and clearance for proper positioning of the recovery limb, and by restraining the angular momentum of the body during push-off. Twelve young adults were repeatedly tripped over an obstacle during mid-swing, while walking over a platform. Kinematics and ground reaction forces at the support limb were measured. Quantification of the angular momentum was based on calculation of the external moment, which equals the rate of change in the angular momentum of the body. Results showed that all subjects acquired a similar increase in angular momentum during foot-obstacle contact, on average 11.4kgm
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1811-1818
    JournalJournal of Biomechanics
    Volume37
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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