Shoes with active insoles mitigate declines in balance after fatigue
- Issue Date
- Nature Publishing Group
- Scientific Reports, Vol.10 No.1, p. 1951
- Fatigue can induce postural instability and even lead to falls. However, most current methods to delay or reduce fatigue require long preparatory time, or large and expensive equipment. We propose a convenient method to alleviate postural instability due to fatigue. We paid attention to that fatigue and aging share similar neurophysiological deterioration of sensory-motor function. Considering that stochastic resonance via sub-sensory mechanical vibration increases postural stability in the elderly, we propose that sub-sensory insole vibration reduces the negative effect of fatigue on postural control. We performed experiments with 21 young and healthy adult participants, and demonstrated that insole vibration compensates for the loss of balance ability due to fatigue. The sub-sensory insole vibration restored both the area of center of pressure and the complexity of the time series of the motor output after fatigue to the pre-fatigue levels. The insole units generating the vibration were completely concealed in shoes and controlled by a smart phone. This compact implementation contrasts with the cumbersome procedure of current solutions to fatigue-induced postural instability.
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