Treadmill-based perturbation training for preventing falls among young adults

Patrick Anthony Cereceres, University of Texas at El Paso


Falls present a serious challenge not only among older adults, but for young adults, especially those whose working conditions exposes them to a high fall hazard. Treadmill-based perturbation training, as a task-specific training modality, has emerged as a new paradigm used to prevent falls. However, the training program in previous studies contained up to 30 perturbation trials. It is unclear if a reduced number of perturbation trials could still induce positive effect in preventing falls. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a treadmill-based perturbation training paradigm consisting of 8 slip perturbations on reducing slip-related falls in young adults. Forty-three young adults participated in this study and were randomly assigned to either the training group (those who received treadmill-based perturbation training) or the control group (those who did not receive perturbation but the mocking training on the same treadmill). After the training, both groups were exposed to an unannounced slip during overground walking. The reactions to the overground slip, including the fall incidences and dynamic stability, were compared between groups. The results indicated that the perturbation training reduced the likelihood of falls and improved the dynamic stability at the recovery touchdown down during the overground slip in the training group when compared to the control group. The findings of this study showed that treadmill-based perturbation training, even at a lower dosage, can be effective in preventing falls. However, more research is needed in order to largely deploy this training to both healthy individuals and people with neurological disease.

Subject Area

Health sciences|Kinesiology|Biomechanics

Recommended Citation

Cereceres, Patrick Anthony, "Treadmill-based perturbation training for preventing falls among young adults" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10250602.