The influence of lower extremity joint torque on gait characteristics in elderly men

Judith M. Burnfield, Karen R. Josephson, Christopher M. Powers, Laurence Z. Rubenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relation between certain lower extremity isokinetic muscle torque capabilities and selected stride characteristics for a group of elderly, sedentary men. Study Design: Descriptive analysis of convenience sample. Setting: Veterans Administration (VA) ambulatory care center. Subjects: Eighty-one elderly men, capable of independent ambulation, were recruited from outpatient clinics and the local community (mean age, 74.7yr). Main Outcome Measures: Maximal isokinetic torque in the sagittal plane of hip, knee, and ankle muscles; stride characteristics of speed, stride length, and cadence recorded during walking at a self-selected velocity. Results: Stepwise regression analysis revealed that hip extension torque was the only significant independent predictor for free walking speed, stride length, and cadence, and accounted for 37% (r = .611), 35% (r = .590), and 12% (r = .341) of the total variance, respectively. Other joint torques correlated with gait parameters but did not add significantly to the multivariate model. Conclusions: Hip extension torque was the only significant independent predictor for free walking velocity, stride length, and cadence in this group. These results support the idea that strengthening the hip extensors may improve stride characteristics in elderly individuals. (C) 2000 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1157
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Elderly
  • Gait
  • Geriatrics
  • Muscles
  • Rehabilitation
  • Strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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