Measuring foot placement and clearance during stair descent

Jennifer Muhaidat, Andrew Kerr, Danny Rafferty, Dawn Skelton, Jonathan J. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Falls during stair descent are a serious problem and can lead to accidental death. Inappropriate foot placement on, and clearance over, steps have been identified as causes for falls on stairs. This study investigated a new method for measuring placement and clearance during stair descent in 10 healthy young subjects. The effect of foot length was accounted for during the measurement of foot placement by calculating the percentage length of the foot overhanging the step. Foot clearance was measured as the resultant of the minimum vertical and horizontal distances from the heel of the foot to the edge of the step. Clearance was divided into landing and passing clearance depending on the planned placement of the foot in relation to the step edge being cleared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-506
Number of pages3
JournalGait and Posture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • balance
  • fall prevention
  • gait


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