Body Weight Support Devices for Overground Gait and Balance Training

Andrew Pennycott, Heike Vallery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

1 Citation (Scopus)


Regaining the ability to walk overground, to climb stairs and to perform other functional tasks such as standing up and sitting down are important rehabilitation goals following neurological injury or disease. However, these activities are often difficult to practice safely for patients with severe impairments due to the risk of injury, not only to the patient but also to therapists. The emergence of various technologies that provide a degree of body weight support can play a role in rehabilitation focused on recovering overground gait and balance functions. These can greatly reduce the risk of falls and thus allow more intense and longer training sessions. Therefore, the systems empower individuals with the ability to practice the types of activities and functions they need in order to return home and to be reintegrated into the community as much as possible. This chapter explores the origin of body weight supported devices and considers which groups could derive benefit from the training. An overview of the main training platforms available today—which comprise both robotic and non-robotic technologies—is then provided, followed by a discussion regarding outcomes of the devices thus far and possible future directions of the technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeurorehabilitation Technology, Third Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783031089954
ISBN (Print)9783031089947
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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