Test–retest reliability of vertical ground reaction forces during stair climbing in the elderly population

Leitner, Monika; Schmid, Stefan; Hilfiker, Roger; Radlinger, Lorenz (2011). Test–retest reliability of vertical ground reaction forces during stair climbing in the elderly population Gait & Posture, 34(3), pp. 421-425. Elsevier 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.06.014

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The purpose of the study was to determine the reliability of vertical ground reaction force (VGRF) parameters during stair ascent and descent in the elderly. Forty-two elderly subjects (80.1 SD 6.4 years) were asked to perform three stair ascents and descents at their self-selected normal speed. VGRF were measured during two consecutive steps on an instrumented staircase. Force–time curves where then parameterized into force, force-time and time variables, according to a previously suggested protocol. In addition, force and force-time variables were normalized to body weight. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) type (2, 1) and coefficients of variation (CV) were calculated. Force variables showed moderate to good reliability for the normalized values with ICCs ranging from 0.537 to 0.836 and CVs between 2.52% and 6.51%. Variability of Fmax1 and Fmin appeared to be higher in stair descent with CVs of >5.20% as compared to stair ascent (<3.75%). Time variables showed good reliability in stair ascent but were clearly lower in stair descent (ICCs between 0.108 and 0.684 and CVs between 10.70% and 14.45%). Significant differences were found for the ICCs between the absolute and normalized values as well as for the ICCs of the time dependent and CVs of all variables between stair ascent and descent.It has been concluded that VGRF parameters can be used as a reliable measurement tool for the quantification of stair climbing in the elderly. The present data can be further used as reference values in future investigations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Health Professions
School of Health Professions > Physiotherapy


Leitner, Monika0000-0003-2685-4605;
Schmid, Stefan0000-0001-5138-9800;
Hilfiker, Roger and
Radlinger, Lorenz0000-0002-0326-6264








Stefan Schmid

Date Deposited:

26 Nov 2019 12:20

Last Modified:

18 Dec 2020 13:29

Publisher DOI:






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