Reducing Slip Risk: A Feasibility Study of Gait Training with Semi-Real-Time Feedback of Foot–Floor Contact Angle

Christina Zong Hao Ma, Tian Bao, Christopher A. Dicesare, Isaac Harris, April Chambers, Peter B. Shull, Yong Ping Zheng, Rakie Cham, Kathleen H. Sienko

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Slip-induced falls, responsible for approximately 40% of falls, can lead to severe injuries and in extreme cases, death. A large foot–floor contact angle (FFCA) during the heel-strike event has been associated with an increased risk of slip-induced falls. The goals of this feasibility study were to design and assess a method for detecting FFCA and providing cues to the user to generate a compensatory FFCA response during a future heel-strike event. The long-term goal of this research is to train gait in order to minimize the likelihood of a slip event due to a large FFCA. An inertial measurement unit (IMU) was used to estimate FFCA, and a speaker provided auditory semi-real-time feedback when the FFCA was outside of a 10–20 degree target range following a heel-strike event. In addition to training with the FFCA feedback during a 10-min treadmill training period, the healthy young participants completed pre-and post-training overground walking trials. Results showed that training with FFCA feedback increased FFCA events within the target range by 16% for “high-risk” walkers (i.e., participants that walked with more than 75% of their FFCAs outside the target range) both during feedback treadmill trials and post-training overground trials without feedback, supporting the feasibility of training FFCA using a semi-real-time FFCA feedback system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3641
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • feedback
  • foot–floor contact angle
  • gait training
  • inertial measurement unit
  • slip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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