Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Relationship between stair ascent gait speed, bone density and gait characteristics of postmenopausal women

Dostan, Ali; Dobson, Catherine A.; Vanicek, Natalie


Ali Dostan

Catherine A. Dobson


John Leicester Williams


Stair ascent is a biomechanically challenging task for older women. Bone health may affect gait stability during stair walking. This study investigated the gait biomechanics associated with stair ascent in a group of postmenopausal women in relation to walking speed and bone health, quantified by T-score. Forty-five healthy women (mean (SD) age: 67 (14) years), with bone density ranging from healthy to osteoporotic (T-score range +1 to -3), ascended a custom-made five-step staircase with two embedded force plates, surrounded by 10 motion capture cameras, at their self-selected speed. Multivariate regression analyses investigated the explained variance in gait parameters in relation to stair ascent speed and T-score of each individual. Stair ascent speed was 0.65 (0.1) ms-1 and explained the variance (R2 = 9 to 47%, P ≤ 0.05) in most gait parameters. T-score explained additional variance in stride width (R2 = 20%, P = 0.014), pelvic hike (R2 = 19%, P = 0.011), pelvic drop (R2 = 21%, P = 0.007) and hip adduction (R2 = 7%, P = 0.054). Increased stride width, and thereby a wider base of support, accompanied by increased frontal plane hip kinematics, could be important strategies to improve dynamic stability during stair ascent among this group of women. These findings suggest that targeted exercises of the hip abductors and adductors, including core trunk musculature, could improve dynamic stability during more challenging locomotor tasks. Balance exercises that challenge base of support could also benefit older women with low bone mineral density who may be at risk of falls.


Dostan, A., Dobson, C. A., & Vanicek, N. (2023). Relationship between stair ascent gait speed, bone density and gait characteristics of postmenopausal women. PLoS ONE, 18(3), Article e0283333.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 7, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 22, 2023
Publication Date Mar 1, 2023
Deposit Date Mar 23, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 23, 2023
Journal PLoS ONE
Print ISSN 1932-6203
Electronic ISSN 1932-6203
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 3
Article Number e0283333
Keywords Bone density; Stair ascent; Postmenopausal; Dynamic stability; Osteoporosis
Public URL


Published article (883 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
Copyright: © 2023 Dostan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations