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Faculty Advisors

Espy, Debbie


Falling can be a life-threatening event, especially for older adults. Clinicians use balance training to reduce fall incidents in at-risk individuals. There are various forms of balance training, and they often employ a harness system to prevent patient injury. Current harness systems are capable of supporting a percentage of an individual’s body weight and catching people in the midst of falling, and some may even perform both of these functions. However, injury can still be incurred from using a harness, particularly among the frail elderly. This lab has developed a new, controlled harness system that will be able to perform all the functions of the body-weight support and fall-arresting harness systems, with the additional feature of decelerating the rate of a person’s fall. This harness will be tested in a pilot study among adults aged 55 years or older with balance impairments. The subjects will experience slip training progressions with this new harness system and their response will be tracked using a motion analysis system called CORTEX. Results from tests completed with this harness system will be analyzed to understand the role of the motorized harness in a holistic balance training regimen.

Publication Date



College of Sciences and Health Professions


School of Health Sciences


Medicine and Health Sciences

Development of a Controlled Harness System to Increase Flexibility in Balance Testing and Training