View Full Version : responses to trip and fall

Jeff Wheeler - Biomechanics Research & Consulting
02-20-1995, 02:46 AM
Thanks to all who took the time to respond to my
question regarding the kinematics of trip and fall.
I received some excellent information which will be extremely
helpful. Following are the reponses.

Hsieh-Ching Chen partially considered this problem in his
1993 Ph.D Thesis in Mechanical Engineering at the University
of Michigan, Ann Arbor. You can get it through interlibrary
loan or University Microfilms, Inc. See the last chapter on
the modeling of recovery from a forward fall.

We have investigated slipping during the early stance phase of walking. This
usually leads to backward slipping, but there might be some useful
information for you in the following publications:

Strandberg L and Lanshammar H
The dynamics of slipping accidents. Journal of Occupational Accidents, 3, pp
153 162, 1981.

Strandberg L and Lanshammar H
On the biomechanics of slipping accidents. Biomechanics VIII A, eds. H.
Matsui, K. Kobayashi, Human Kinetic Publishers, Champain, Illinois, pp 397
402, 1982.

Best wishes - Haakan
* From: Haakan Lanshammar
* hl@SysCon.uu.se
* Tel: +46-18-18 30 33
* Fax: +46-18-50 36 11
* Systems and Control Group
* Uppsala University
* Box 27
* S-751 03 Uppsala, SWEDEN

John Brault,

If you have access to any online search mechanisms (e.g., medline), then
you might try doing an author search on Mark Grabiner of the Cleveland
Clinic Foundation. He's been known to trip up a few people (for scientific
purposes of course). Good luck on your search for info.

Peter M. Quesada, PhD
Ohio State University

John (and Jeff?),
For information concerning the kinematics/kinetics of slips
and falls, you might try contacting two persons who did some
work on this (gait on slippery surfaces) while at the Univ. of
Massachusetts. They are:
Tim Eng (now at Nike in Oregon, sorry no more address info) and
Dennis O'Connor (now at Steadman Sports Medicine Foundation
in Vail, CO. Phone: 303.479.9797 x276).
For references on slips and falls you may want to try the
gerontology literature and the postural control literature--
while much of the literature may be on the elderly, young
groups are often used for comparison.
Good luck,

Jeff Ives, Ph.D.
Dept. of Exercise Science
Campbell University
Buies Creek, NC 27506

Dear Jeff,

Here are some references that I pulled out from my gait
bibliography. The word "fall" also selected the time of year so
ignore those references! Hope this helps.

Kit Vaughan

Crowninshield RD
1983 Fall
A physiologically based criterion for muscle force predictions on
Bulletin of the Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic
Institution, 43(2):164-170
resultant joint forces, electromyography, optimization

Do MC; Breniere Y; Brenguier P
A biomechanical study of balance recovery during the fall forward
Journal of Biomechanics, 15(12):933-939
stride length and frequency, linear velocity, abnormal walking

Do MC; Breniere Y
1986 Sep
Characteristics of the gait induced by a fall (abstract)
Fifth Meeting of the European Society of Biomechanics, Berlin,
West Germany
abnormal walking, kinematics, kinetics

Dorca Coll A; Cespedes Cespedes T; Prats Climent B; Dorca Coll MR
(Why do old people fall down?)
Revista De Enfermeria (Barcelona) 13(139):23-27
aged gait, kinematics

Gage JR
1983 Fall
Gait analysis for decision-making in cerebral palsy
Bulletin of the Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic
Institution, 43(2):147-163
cerebral palsy, child gait, electromyography, therapy and
rehabilitation, telemetry, effects of surgery

Guimaraes RM
Characteristics of the gait in old people who fall
International Rehabilitation Medicine, 2(4):177-180
aged gait, kinetics

Murphy J; Isaacs B
The post-fall syndrome. A study of 36 elderly patients
Gerontology, 28(4):265-270
pathology, therapy and rehabilitation, psychological problems,

Simoneau GG; Cavanagh PR; Ulbrecht JS; Leibouritz HW; Tyrrell RA
The influence of visual factors on fall-related kinematic
variables during stair descent by older women
Journal of Gerontology, 46(6):M188-M195
female gait, ascending descending, aged gait, statistics, vision,
foot, movie photography, stride length and frequency

Strandberg L
1983 Jan
On accident analysis and slip-resistance measurement
Ergonomics, 26(1):11-32
computer modelling, foot, linear velocity, angular displacement,
force plate, work energy power, angular velocity, television,

Strandberg L; Hildeskog L; Ottosson A-L
Slip resistance of footwear assessed by walking experiments
Biomechanics X-B (ed. B. Jonsson), Human Kinetics Publishers,
Champaign, Illinois, 919-926.
normal walking, force plate

I think Bob Andres and some of his students at the University of
Massachusetts published some slip and fall data within the last five years.

Larry Abraham, EdD
Kinesiology & Health Education
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712 USA
(512)471-1273 FAX (512)471-8914

Dear John ...
You should start by looking at the ASTM Symposiums on Slip and Fall Research
- I'm sure you will find some interesting research in the proceedings. You
may also look for some work done by Jim McElhaney of Duke University - he ran
several experiments where he purposely tried to induce trip incidences. I'm
sure he must make some comments regarding reflex response.

Terry Smith
USC Head Protection Research Lab
Dear John,

We have just got a paper published in Experimental Brain Research. The
reference is Eng, JJ, Winter, DA and Patla, AE. Strategies for recovery
from a trip in early and late swing during human walking. Experimental
Brain Research, 102, 339-349, 1994. It deals mainly with the EMG and
kinematics from a motor control perspective. For my doctoral dissertation
I actually performed a three-dimensional kinematic, kinetic, and total body
centre of mass analysis of tripping. I'm in the midst of trying to
get the kinetics published. Hope you find the reference useful.

Janice Eng, PhD, PT
Post-doctoral Fellow
School of Kinesiology
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC
Janice Eng Phone (604) 291-5770
Simon Fraser University FAX (604) 291-3040
Burnaby, B.C. E-mail jjeng@sfu.ca

Dear John

Following are the two references about falls and stepping over obstacles.
Hope these will help.

Chen, H.C. et al. (1991) Stepping over obstacles: Gait patterns of healthy
young and old adults, 46(9), 196-203.

Grabiner, M.D. et al.(1993) Kinematics of recovery from a stumble. Journal of
Gerontology, 48(3), 97-102.


Rezaul Begg, PhD
Biomechanics Unit
Victoria University of Technology
Melbourne, Australia