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The online version of this article (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-018-0784-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The Two-Step test is one of three official tests authorized by the Japanese Orthopedic Association to evaluate the risk of locomotive syndrome (a condition of reduced mobility caused by an impairment of the locomotive organs). It has been reported that the Two-Step test score has a good correlation with one’s walking ability; however, its association with the gait pattern of older people during normal walking is still unknown. Therefore, this study aims to clarify the associations between the gait patterns of older people observed during normal walking and their Two-Step test scores.
We analyzed the whole waveforms obtained from the lower-extremity joint angles and joint moments of 26 older people in various stages of locomotive syndrome using principal component analysis (PCA). The PCA was conducted using a 260 × 2424 input matrix constructed from the participants’ time-normalized pelvic and right-lower-limb-joint angles along three axes (ten trials of 26 participants, 101 time points, 4 angles, 3 axes, and 2 variable types per trial).
The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient between the scores of the principal component vectors (PCVs) and the scores of the Two-Step test revealed that only one PCV (PCV 2) among the 61 obtained relevant PCVs is significantly related to the score of the Two-Step test.
We therefore concluded that the joint angles and joint moments related to PCV 2—ankle plantar-flexion, ankle plantar-flexor moments during the late stance phase, ranges of motion and moments on the hip, knee, and ankle joints in the sagittal plane during the entire stance phase—are the motions associated with the Two-Step test.