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Walking in the real world: concepts related to functional gait

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Susan Lord, Professor Lynn Rochester


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Walking in the real world is highly complex and presents the individual with a challenging task. Physiotherapists involved in gait rehabilitation increasingly consider aspects of functional gait, that is, the skills required to carry out complex tasks and negotiate a range of environments. Preparation for 'real world' walking requires us to view locomotion in different terms. It is no longer sufficient to consider gait as a mostly automatic motor activity, but rather one that requires the integration of motor function with cognitive processes such as attention, memory and planning. A focus on high level gait performance therefore requires a focus on cognition. This commentary poses a series of clinically-based questions to facilitate understanding of the topic, and to highlight areas for future consideration.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lord S, Rochester L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy

Year: 2007

Volume: 35

Issue: 3

Pages: 126-130

ISSN (electronic): 0303-7193

Publisher: New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists (Inc.)