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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

versão impressa ISSN 1413-3555versão On-line ISSN 1809-9246


KIRKWOOD, Renata N. et al. Spatiotemporal and variability gait data in community-dwelling elderly women from Brazil. Braz. J. Phys. Ther. [online]. 2016, vol.20, n.3, pp.258-266.  Epub 22-Mar-2016. ISSN 1413-3555.


Gait is an extremely complex motor task; therefore, gait data should encompass as many gait parameters as possible.


To provide reference values for gait measurements obtained from a Brazilian group of community-dwelling elderly females between the ages of 65 and 89 years and to apply the PCA-biplot to yield insight into different walking strategies that might occur during the aging process.


305 elderly community-dwelling females living in Brazil were stratified into four age groups: 65-69 years (N=103); 70-74 years (N=95); 75-79 years (N=77); and ≥80 years (N=30). Age, height, and BMI were assessed to describe the characteristics of the groups. Gait spatiotemporal and variability data were obtained using the GAITRite® system. Principal component analysis, followed by MANOVA and the PCA-biplot approach were used to analyze the data.


95% CI showed that only three components – rhythm, variability, and support - together explained 74.2% of the total variance in gait that were different among the groups. The older groups (75-79 and ≥80 years) walked with lower than average velocity, cadence, and step length and were above average for the variables stance, step, swing, and double support time and the ≥80 year old group presented the highest gait variability compared to the other groups.


Aging is associated with decreased gait velocity and cadence and increased stance, step time, and variability, but not associated with changes in base of support. In addition, the PCA-biplot indicates a decline towards decreased rhythm and increased variability with aging.

Palavras-chave : gait; elderly; principal component analysis; biplot; variability; physical therapy.

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