Department of Kinesiology and Health | College of Education and Human Development | Georgia State Uniersity





Our group focuses on fall prevention and rehabilitation among healthy and pathological populations. Specifically, we are interested in four topics: mechanisms of falls; interventions for reducing falls; reductions of injuries due to falls and other medical conditions. Listed below are a few representative ongoing projects.


Perturbation training for preventing falls in people with multiple sclerosis

Due to damages to the central nervous system, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience various sensorimotor impairments, increasing their risk of falls. This project is trying to examine if people with MS can learn new motor (fall resistant) skills from being repeatedly exposed to large-scale slip perturbations under a controlled and safe environment. This project will provide us direct theoretical basis of applying perturbation-based training among people with MS in order to reduce their risk of falls.


Effects of sole thickness on fall risk after unexpected stance-slips

Falls are a critical issue among different populations. Inappropriate footwear has been identified as a key risk factor of falls. This study explores how the sole thickness influences the body’s reactions to a slip perturbation among young adults. Three Groups of young adults, wearing soles with different thickness, will be exposed to unexpected slips. Their body’s reactions to the perturbation will be recorded and compared among groups to determine how sole thickness affects the risk of falls after a slip. This study will provide guidelines to design the footwear for individuals with high risk of falls in order to reduce their likelihood of falls.(Student PI: Wendy Ahn)


Biomechanical analyses of rhythm movements in ballroom dancers

Although ballroom dancing is becoming more and more popular, little is known about its movement pattern which impedes the improvement of dance performance, and the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dancing-related injuries. The overall goal of this study is to identify the movement patterns and potential risk factors for injury during ballroom dancing. Professional, recreational, and inexperienced ballroom dancers perform five of the most common elements from rhythm ballroom dances while lower extremity kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activity are collected. This study will advance our understanding of the biomechanical characteristics of ballroom dancing. (Student PI: Meredith Wells)


An intervention for increasing ankle dorsiflexion range of motion to reduce medial knee displacement

Knee valgus has been identified as an important risk factor for lower extremity injury. Intervention programs have primarily focused on plyometric training and strengthening of the hip musculature to reduce knee valgus, with little consideration for ankle strength and flexibility. The purpose of this study is to examine if an intervention designed to increase ankle dorsiflexion ROM in persons who display medial knee displacement acutely reduces medial knee displacement in an overhead squat task. The results from this study may help inform future rehabilitation programs. (Student PI: Rebecca Ban)


Recovery from Unexpected Slip Perturbations in Ballet Dancers

Falls are a serious health threat to older adults and other populations at a high fall risk. Previous work has suggested that dance-based interventions could be promising to address fall risk factors in both healthy and clincial seniors. This study seeks to examine if ballet dancers behave differently from non-dancers following unexpected slips during standing. Specifically, we are interested in identifying whether ballet dancers exhibit a lower likelihood of falling, better control of body balance, and different leg muscle activation patterns than non-dancers following slips. Results will provide direct insight into how ballet training may help adults reduce fall risk responding to a perturbation. (Student PI: Caroline Simpkins)


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