Gait adjustments in older adults: Activity and efficacy influences

Karl S. Rosengren, Edward McAuley, Shannon L. Mihalko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Factors that influence gait adjustments in active and sedentary older adults were examined in this study. Fifty-five older adults (60-85 years) completed a series of physical activity and self-efficacy measures (gait, falls) and the Berg Balance Scale (K. O. Berg, S. L. Wood-Dauphinee, J. I. Williams, and B. Maki, 1992). Participants then completed a series of walking trials that included walking with and without obstacles placed in their path. Sedentary older adults adopted a more cautious walking style than active ones, exhibiting shorter step lengths and slower step velocities. Age, physical activity level, balance, and the efficacy measures were all found to be significantly correlated with gait speed. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that once age, sex, and body mass index were controlled for, gait efficacy had a significant independent effect on gait speed. These results highlight the importance of examining multiple factors when examining the control of gait.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-386
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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