Joint torques and dynamic joint stiffness in elderly and young men stepping down

SD Lark, JG Buckley, S Bennett, David Jones, AJ Sargeant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To compare the joint torque pattern and dynamic joint stiffness at the knee and ankle in elderly and young men during stepping down. BACKGROUND: Adequate joint stiffness is critical during the single support phase to control forward and downward body momentum. DESIGN: Six active elderly men (mean 67.7) and six young men (mean 23.6) of similar body mass and height, were filmed stepping down from one force platform to another. Repeated trials were undertaken at three different step heights (200, 250, and 300 mm). METHOD: Joint torques were determined for the ankle and knee of the support limb throughout the single support phase. The gradient of the joint torque-angle graph was calculated to define dynamic joint stiffness of the ankle and knee in two phases; (I) from initiation of movement until heel-off of the supporting limb, and (II) from heel-off of the supporting limb to contra-limb touch down. RESULTS: Maximum ankle torque values were lower in the elderly and occurred at a larger dorsiflexion angle (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)848-855
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2003


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