As the older adult population and cost of health care continues to rise worldwide, the focus of health care policy has been redrawn on health promotion and disability prevention among elderly people. When older adults begin experiencing age-related physiological decline, such as slower gait speed, they tend to compensate well by relying on environmental modification and posture adaptation.
A recent study identified the early adaptations in posture during walking that may be indicative of future gait speed decline among healthy older adults, in hopes of identifying significant posture adaptation that is necessary to preserve gait speed in the onset of developing vulnerability. The study found that although gait speed is a significant indicator of sarcopenia and frailty among older adults, researchers found that identifying trunk posture adaptation prior to the onset of decreased gait speed will facilitate in planning interventions in the increasingly vulnerable older adult population before gait speed declines.
The finding of this study is useful for care providers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities who can use this as a guide when implementing early posture correction exercise interventions to prevent the onset of further decline, as well as incorporating traditional gait, balance, and resistance training.