Feet and footwear: friends or foes?

Franklin, Simon (2018). Feet and footwear: friends or foes? University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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A third of over 65s have at least one fall per year whilst a quarter of over 45s endure foot pain. Footwear is associated with both fall risk and foot pain hence its investigation is of great importance. This thesis explores the potential benefits of minimalist footwear for the older adult population.
Chapter 2 ascertained the kinematic and kinetic differences between walking barefoot versus in footwear whilst highlighting the limited research on minimalist footwear, older adults and muscle activity differences. Accordingly, Chapter 3 outlined that minimalist footwear is kinematically more similar to barefoot, irrespective of age, thus offering a viable alternative. Similarly, Chapter 4 showed walking in minimalist footwear and walking unshod exhibit similar lower leg muscle activation patterns whilst differences exist to conventional footwear. Chapter 6 demonstrated how increasing intrinsic foot strength improved functional and static balance whilst Chapter 7 showed promise for minimalist footwear improving foot strength, functional balance, balance confidence as well as reducing foot and joint pain in a sample of older adults. In conclusion, this thesis highlights the need for future work to continue to investigate minimalist footwear in both older adults and other age groups for benefits to stability, foot health and joint pain.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Q Science > QP Physiology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/8400


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