Technology Description

The Gait Box is designed to be a low-cost device to capture an individual’s gait speed during the standard 6m walking test. Recently coined the 6th vital sign [1], gait speed is a strong predictor of functional status and survival amongst older adults [2]. The current gold standard for gait speed measurements is clinical personnel using a stopwatch and measuring tape. In older adult populations, a reduction of 0.10 meters per second has been associated with a decrease in life expectancy [3], meaning that accurate measurements are needed for timely interventions. While there are devices that measure gait speed accurately, these devices are not widely adopted or available, not portable, and are often very expensive.

This device uses low-cost electronics and is easily portable, with the ability to be used in a variety of different settings and clinical populations. While initial testing has been completed to check the accuracy of the Gait Box, a more robust comparative validation study is underway.

Development Team

  • Kevin Caves
  • Jon Usher
  • Leighanne Davis


Lusardi, Michelle M. (2012). “Is Walking Speed a Vital Sign? Absolutely.” Topics in geriatric rehabilitation 28(2): 67-76.

Guralnik, JM, L Ferrucci, et al. (2000). "Lower extremity function and subsequent disability: consistency across studies, predictive models, and value of gait speed alone compared with the short physical performance battery." J Gerontol: MS 55A(4): M221-M231.

Studenski, S, S Perera, et al. (2011). "Gait speed and survival in older adults." JAMA 305(1): 50-58 10.1001/jama.2010.1923.