Kinematical strategy to regain balance during a forward fall on a slippery floor

P. H. Chou, Y. L. Chou, S. L. Lee, J. Y. You, F. C. Su, H. C. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Slips and falls often occur in the industrial environments. They are not only caused by environmental hazards but also by some biomechanical factors related to deficient ability of postural control to arrest impending falls. The purpose of this study is to simulate the slip condition in human walking and to find out the possible related factors of biomechanics. Eleven male and 9 female recruited were healthful without any musculoskeletal and neurological impairments. In order to provide different disturbance level, three lean angles of tilting boards were designed as 10, 20, 30 degrees with respect to horizontal plane. Subjects wore a safety harness, stood on the tilting board and were released without awareness. A forceplate applied a soap patch was in front of the tilting board to serve the slippery perturbation and to measure the foot/floor reactions. Movements of body segments were measured using the motion analysis system. The results were shown that lean angle had a significant effect to all parameters except step length, response time, maximum ankle forward velocity, hip forward velocity, and ankle flex angle. The gender significantly affected on the step length, response time, maximum ankle forward velocity, and knee forward velocity. Larger lean angle made subjects to take a more rapid step. In order to absorb the shock in foot strike, subjects flexed more their knee and increased the foot landing angle in larger lean angle. Male tended to adopt the long step-length strategy to respond to the slippery perturbation and female tended to use the short step-length strategy instead. The results of maximum ankle forward velocity suggested that short step-length strategy could be better to reduce the foot slip than long step-length strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Feb 25

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering


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