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Falls present a large danger to the geriatric population, with one in three individuals over the age of 65 experiencing at least one fall annually. With most falls occurring while walking, the relationship between inclined walking and fall risk has not been fully explored. In this study, 16 healthy young participants (age: 26.8 ±5.4 years, height: 175.0±11.0 cm, weight: 68.2 ±19.9 kg) walked on a treadmill with level surface and 10 degrees incline/decline in a virtual environment laboratory. We found that gait parameters and lower extremity joint moments were affected by surface inclination. These observed changes in joint moments and gait parameters may present challenges to the older population especially with musculoskeletal disorders and thereby increase the risk of falls. This study offers new information on the effects of incline and decline surface walking compared to normal flat ground surface walking.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting in 2020. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


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