This study aimed to use the k-nearest neighbor (kNN) algorithm, which combines gait stability and symmetry derived from a normalized cross-correlation (NCC) analysis of acceleration signals from the bilateral ankles of older adults, to assess fall risk. Fifteen non-fallers and 12 recurrent fallers without clinically significant musculoskeletal and neurological diseases participated in the study. Sex, body mass index, previous falls, and the results of the 10 m walking test (10 MWT) were recorded. The acceleration of the five gait cycles from the midsection of each 10 MWT was used to calculate the unilateral NCC coefficients for gait stability and bilateral NCC coefficients for gait symmetry, and then kNN was applied for classifying non-fallers and recurrent fallers. The duration of the 10 MWT was longer among recurrent fallers than it was among non-fallers (p < 0.05). Since the gait signals were acquired from tri-axial accelerometry, the kNN F1 scores with the x-axis components were 92% for non-fallers and 89% for recurrent fallers, and the root sum of squares (RSS) of the signals was 95% for non-fallers and 94% for recurrent fallers. The kNN classification on gait stability and symmetry revealed good accuracy in terms of distinguishing non-fallers and recurrent fallers. Specifically, it was concluded that the RSS-based NCC coefficients can serve as effective gait features to assess the risk of falls.
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