Biomechanical research results
In collaboration with students and professors on the post-graduate Sports Technology programme at Aalborg University, a study was conducted on a CrossWALKER prototype. The study was conducted to determine whether the CrossWALKER had a positive impact on the walking pattern, focusing on the stability of the user. The initial biomechanical experiments were conducted using healthy adult individuals with a normal level of function. By excluding individuals suffering from walking difficulties, the study eliminated the risk of confusing results and false conclusions.
The mechanical tests are now recognized as scientific research
- The use of the CrossWALKER’s vertically-oriented handles shows increased dynamic stability over the ankles, knees and hips, when compared with walking using a conventional rollator.
- The dynamic stability achieved with a CrossWALKER is comparable to the stability achieved in normal walking without any device.
- There is greater weight bearing on the legs when using a CrossWALKER compared to a conventional rollator. The weight bearing on the legs when walking with a CrossWALKER can be equated with the weight bearing on the legs during normal walking without a mobility device.
- Walking parameters such as self-selected speed, cadence, stride length and step time differ both with a CrossWALKER and a conventional rollator, when compared to normal walking. However, the clinical relevance of this is still unclear and not clarified in this study.
- Walking with a CrossWALKER provides maximum joint positions over the hip, which are closer to joint positions when walking normally than when walking with the use of a conventional rollator. This provides a more upright bodily position when walking with a CrossWALKER.
Conventional rollators were developed to increase stability, mobility and independence for people with walking difficulties and to relieve stress in the lower extremities by allowing the arms to take some of the weight bearing, whereas CrossWALKER has been designed to support, maintain and exercise the walking function in the event of temporary or chronic walking difficulties.
CrossWALKER does not support weight bearing in the arms to the same degree as a conventional rollator. The increased weight bearing on the legs when walking with a CrossWALKER should be of interest to people who are in an early stage of rehabilitation (for example, immediately after surgery and/or an accident) or in states, in which the legs cannot bear the full weight.
In the case of minor weight bearing problems or a little later in the rehabilitation process, a CrossWALKER may very well be a potentially better mobility aid for regaining walking function. This is because CrossWALKER provides better dynamic stability and also activates the upper body. CrossWALKER also has existing handles from the rollator, which can be used in situations, in which weight bearing is necessary to achieve everyday function.
When it comes to the rehabilitation of elderly people and people with reduced walking stability, as a mobility aid a CrossWALKER could be a step towards a more normal walking pattern and make the user less dependent on assistance.
Further research may examine the loads on joints and muscles. Likewise, further research could investigate the implications of the fact that a CrossWALKER stimulates the metabolism of the upper body during walking.
Biomechanical tests show that:
- There is evidence of increased stability over the ankles, knees and hips when walking with a CrossWALKER compared to walking with a walking frame. This is the result of biomechanical test trials using people who have a normal level of function.
- Walking with a CrossWALKER provides joint mobility in the legs close to that of normal walking. This is the result of biomechanical test trials using people who have a normal level of function.
- Mobility aids were developed to increase stability and mobility for people with walking difficulties.
- The CrossWALKER has been developed to support walking and the exercise of walking function in the case of chronic walking difficulties.
- Walking with a normal mobility aid/walking frame is associated with a more unstable walking pattern than natural walking using a CrossWALKER.
- Walking with a CrossWALKER improved dynamic stability, compared to walking with a regular mobility aid/walking frame.
The results show that, when walking with a normal mobility aid/walking frame, the walking pattern was more unstable and provided less weight bearing for ankles, knees and hip joints compared to walking with a CrossWALKER.
However, walking with a CrossWALKER had a greater degree of pain due to the increased degree of weight bearing, which would not be suitable for people who are in an early stage of rehabilitation: for example, after surgery and accident.
In the case of minor weight-bearing problems and more stable walking patterns, the CrossWALKER may very well be a better mobility aid, or in the later stage of a course of rehabilitation, when it comes to regaining walking function.
The CrossWALKER is a mobility aid, which can be a steppingstone/path to a normal walking pattern.
This is in the context of the rehabilitation of elderly people and people with reduced walking stability.