Theses and Dissertations



Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Chander, Harish

Committee Member

Knight, Adam C.

Committee Member

Chen, Chi-Chia

Committee Member

Burch, V, Reuben

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Exercise Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Kinesiology


Introduction: Fall-related injuries are exceptionally prevalent in occupational settings. While endangering the workers’ health, falls cause poor productivity and increased economic burden in the workplace. Hence, identifying these threats and training workers to achieve proper postural control is crucial. Purpose: Study 1: To investigate the ankle joint kinematics in unexpected and expected trip responses during single-tasking (ST), dual-tasking (DT), and triple-tasking (TT), before and after a physically fatiguing exercise. Study 2: To investigate the impact of virtual heights, DT, and training on static postural stability and cognitive processing. Methods: Study 1: Twenty collegiate volunteers (10 males and females, one left leg dominant, age 20.35 plus-minus 1.04 years, height 174.83 plus-minus 9.03 cm, mass 73.88 plus-minus 15.55 kg) were recruited. Ankle joint kinematics were recorded while treadmill walking during normal gait (NG), unexpected trip (UT), and expected trip (ET) perturbations with DT and physical fatigue. Study 2: Twenty-eight collegiate volunteers (14 males and females; all right leg dominant; age 20.48 plus-minus 1.26 years; height 172.67 plus-minus 6.66 cm; mass 69.52 plus-minus 13.78 kg; body mass index 23.32 plus-minus 3.54 kg/m2) were recruited. They were exposed to different virtual environments (VEs) over three days with and without DT. Postural sway parameters, lower extremity muscle activity, heart rate, and subjective anxiety parameters were collected. Results: Study 1: Greater maximum ankle angles were observed during UT compared to NG, MDT compared to ST, and TT compared to ST, while greater minimum ankle angles were observed during ET compared to NG and during post-fatigue compared to pre-fatigue. Study 2: Greater postural decrements and poor cognitive processing were observed in high altitudes and DT. Discussion & conclusions: Study 1: Trip recovery responses are different between during DT, TT, and fatigue. Study 2: Static postural stability deteriorates at higher virtual altitudes and with DT, while it improves with a two-day training. Virtual height exposure reduces cognitive performance. Importance: The findings of these studies will provide insights into the biomechanics of falls in ergonomic settings and aid in designing functional and convenient fall prevention programs.