“Most people don’t really think about walking,” says Thurmon Lockhart, a professor of biomechanics in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. “They don’t consider the fact that each step is actually the beginning of a fall, and that they catch themselves from falling only by taking another step.”

It’s just one foot in front of the other for almost everyone. But even that simple process can prove precarious for people suffering from conditions ranging from joint damage to dementia.

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