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Shuffling Does Not Reduce Falls

By Jonneke Kroes, The Netherlands

Research from movement scientist Dr. Sjoerd Bruijn at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam refutes the common advice for older persons with walking problems. On his PhD project, he focused on the question of how stability during gait can be measured.  He studied the statistical precision and sensitivity of stability measures, which may be derived from steady state walking, and used them to study if slow walking is more stable.


His research demonstrate that older people who shuffle because of fear of falling do not fall less than people from the same age who walk more quickly. Also, arm swinging during walking does not decrease falling but for instable walkers, it is necessary that they can move their arms free.


For more information (in Dutch), go to For more information about the scientist (in English), go to

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