Honors College Thesis


Gender Comparison of Hip Power during the Squat Exercise in Older Adults Public Deposited

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  • Falls are a significant public health issue for older adults, with different fall rates and risk factors among genders. In order to slow or stop a fall, an individual must be able to produce significant eccentric joint power in the lower extremities. It is unclear whether there is a relationship between relative joint power at the hip and gender, and if there is, it may be a target of interventional programs. Our objective was to determine if there was a significant difference in relative hip joint power between genders in the sagittal plane in the lowering phase of the squat exercise. We hypothesized that males would demonstrate significantly greater normalized peak hip joint power. Twenty-two non-sedentary older adult participants between ages 61-80 years provided informed consent. Sets of reflective marker clusters were attached to subjects’ limbs and torso. Motion tracking software controlling infrared cameras and in-ground force platforms were used to record movement. Participants performed the squat to a standardized depth of ≤90degrees knee flexion, synchronized to a 60 bpm metronome. Feet were placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart with each foot on one force plate (1200Hz). Maximum sagittal plane hip joint power was identified from trial initiation to maximum knee flexion and averaged over trials. A repeated measures ANOVA was applied, testing for main effect of gender, limb and interactions. There was no statistically significant main effect for gender or limb, nor an interaction (p>0.05). Mean differences indicated medium effect size with percent difference values between 18-25%. Males demonstrated larger normalized power values, suggesting potential clinical, but not statistical significance. Gender hip power differences may need to be considered when designing falls prevention programs for older adults.
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