Sex-specific differences in gait patterns of healthy older adults: Results from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

Seung uk Ko, Magdalena I. Tolea, Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The effects of normal aging and orthopedic conditions on gait patterns during customary walking have been extensively investigated. Empirical evidence supports the notion that sex differences exist in the gait patterns of young adults but it is unclear as to whether sex differences exist in older adults. The aim of this study was to investigate sex-specific differences in gait among older adults. Study participants were 336 adults (50-96 years; 162 women) enrolled in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) who completed walking tasks at self-selected speed without assistance. After adjusting for significant covariates, women walked with higher cadence (p=0.01) and shorter stride length (p=0.006) compared to men, while gait speed was not significantly related to sex. Women also had less hip range of motion (ROM; p=0.004) and greater ankle ROM (p

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1974-1979
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jul 7 2011
Externally publishedYes



  • Aging
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics
  • Mechanical work expenditure
  • Sex difference in gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this