While much attention has been paid to understanding slip-related falls in humans, little has been focused on curvilinear paths despite their prevalence, distinct biomechanical demands and increased slipping threat. We determined the mechanics, compensatory stepping reactions and fall risk associated with slips during fixed-speed walking across ranges of path curvature, slipped foot and slip onset phase contexts possible in the community, which builds upon previous work by examining speed-independent effects of curvilinear walking. Twenty-one participants experienced 15 unconstrained slips induced by a wearable friction-reducing device as motion capture and harness load cell data were recorded. Falls were most likely after early stance slips to the inside foot and increased at tighter curvatures. Slip distance and peak velocity decreased as slips began later in stance phase, did not differ between feet, and accelerated on tighter paths. Slipping foot directions relative to heading transitioned from anterior (forward) to posterior (backward) as slips began later in stance, were ipsilateral (toward the slipping foot side) and contralateral (toward the opposite side) for the outside and inside foot, respectively, and became increasingly ipsilateral/contralateral on tighter curvatures. Compensatory steps were placed anteriorly and ipsilaterally after outside and inside foot slips, respectively, and lengthened at later onset phases for outside foot slips only. Our findings illustrate slip magnitude and fall risk relationships that suggest slip direction may influence the balance threat posed by a slip, imply that walking speed may modify slip likelihood, and indicate the most destabilizing curved walking contexts to target in future perturbation-based balance training approaches.

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