Using walker during walking: a pilot study for health elder

Work. 2012:41 Suppl 1:2081-5. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0434-2081.

Abstract

Walker operation completely relies on the walker handle, however most marketed walkers possess two horizontal handles. Several researchers have suggested that horizontal handles might lead to wrist injury. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess the relevant design aspects of walker for elderly people. 28 elders participated in this study; when the experiment was started, subject walked on the tile for 3 meter distance twice by using walker. Data for analysis were selected at the corresponding wrist deviation and vertical force. The results showed that during walker using, the mean wrist deviation was greater than zero. The largest vertical force is significantly larger than the smallest one, and different wrist deviation occurred at three phases, the largest wrist deviation while raising walker is larger than the smallest one, however, no significant different was found between the largest and smallest wrist deviation while pressing walker. No significant correlation occurred between weight and wrist deviation. The correlation between weight and vertical force was significantly positive. With wrist deviation walker use may cause injury to upper-limb, however wrists remain in a neutral position during hand movement to prevent damage. The findings of this study should improve the design of walker handles to reduce the wrist deviations of users.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Equipment Design
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Taiwan
  • Walkers*
  • Walking*
  • Wrist / physiopathology
  • Wrist Injuries / prevention & control*