Research from Elon University in North Carolina presented at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual meeting held in late May and early June in Boulder, CO, validated Havertown, PA-based Protokinetics Zeno walkway for measuring spatiotemporal parameters of backward gait in older adults and breast cancer survivors.
One presentation compared the company’s Zeno walkway with one from Franklin, NJ-based GaitRite (the Zeno is wider and less portable than the GaitRite, which has been validated in previous research) in a study of backward walking in 30 older adults (age 75.1 ± 6.3 years, 19 women) who weren’t at risk for falls.
Validity between the two systems showed excellent correlation on most spatial measurements and moderate agreement for some temporal parameters.
Authors concluded clinicians can use the Zeno for clinical assessment of backwards gait, keeping in mind the differences in temporal measurements if compared with published GaitRite results for healthy older adults.
Elon researchers also used the Zeno system to assess gait variability in 13 postmenopausal breast cancer survivors (mean age 58.5 ± 8.5 years) and eight healthy controls during forward, backward, and accelerated forward walking.
They found greater stance time variability during backward walking and overall greater stride length variability among the breast cancer survivors than the controls, which may indicate an increased risk of falls.
The cancer survivors also had significantly shorter step lengths compared with controls across all conditions, which could indicate a more conservative gait approach.