Exercise game to reduce the risk of falling

by on 28/02/2018

Many older people, especially people with neurological or orthopaedic disorders, experience restrictions in their ability to suddenly change their walking patterns. These people have a higher risk of falling, for example when trying to step over an obstacle. To reduce the falling risk, researchers developed a fun and motivating exercise game.

Project lead: Zerrin Yumak
Partners: Motek Medical, Utrecht University, Amsterdam university of applied sciences, amsterdam university, Waag Society, Digifit and CGI.

During an assessment on a walking belt we measure the adaptivity of a patient’s walking style. After defining a comfortable walking speed, we present visual feedback of a target step length. The subject then needs to respond by taking smaller and larger steps respectively. The belt speed adjusts automatically to ensure a constant step frequency.

Controlled belt speed changes stimulate the patient to change his step frequency by controlled belt speed changes in combination with target step-lengths. Our assessment measures how well the patient performs adjustments in step lengths and step frequencies. The better the adjustment, the lower the risk of falling.