Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 379 - 386

Research article
The Kinetics and Stiffness Characteristics of the Lower Extremity in Older Adults During Vertical Jumping
Li-I WANG 
Author Information
National Hualien University of Education, Taiwan

Li-I WANG
✉ Department of Physical Education, National Hualien University of Education, No. 123, Hua-Hsi Rd., Hualien 970, Taiwan (R.O.C.).
Email: tennis01@mail.nhlue.edu.tw
Publish Date
Received: 21-02-2008
Accepted: 07-07-2008
Published (online): 01-09-2008
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine the modulating effects of age on lower limb stiffness and net muscle joint activity degeneration when performing a functional activity involving SSC. Seven young males and seven older males were recruited as subjects for this study. A high-speed camera and a force plate were synchronized to collect the biomechanical parameters. The kinetic parameters were calculated with the inverse dynamics process. The stiffness of lower limbs was calculated with the spring-mass model. The Student’s t-test was used to test the differences of two age groups. Statistical significance was set at α = 0.05. The present research showed that the older group produced a smaller peak net muscle joint moment at hip and knee. There were no differences in leg stiffness, hip stiffness, and ankle stiffness between the two age groups. Knee stiffness was smaller in the older group. In elderly adults, reduced muscle strength in the lower limbs, especially in the hip and knee, and reduced stiffness of the knee, influence the basic functions of human life and increase the risk of injury. Differences in lower extremity kinetics and stiffness in elderly adults during SSC movement may have implications for new preventive measures.

Key words: Aging, biomechanics, inverse dynamic, spring-mass model


           Key Points
  • The present research showed that the older group reduced muscle strength in the lower limbs, especially in the hip and knee, and reduced stiffness of the knee, influence the basic functions of human life and increase the risk of injury.
  • There were no differences in leg stiffness, hip stiffness, and ankle stiffness between the two age groups.
  • Older subjects maintain hip angular stiffness by decreasing joint angles in order to protect the joint and to increase stability during movement.
  • In elderly adults, insufficient angular stiffness of the knee joint may increase the risk of knee injury during a functional activity involving SSC.
 
 
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