Article

Postural balance and self-reported functional ability in 75-year-old men and women: a cross-national comparative study.

Institute of Preventive Medicine, Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.22). 02/1997; 45(1):21-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study postural balance in relation to self-reported functional ability (mobility and ADL) and general physical activity in elderly men and women living in three different Nordic environments.
A random sample of 448 men and 556 women from among the 75-year-old residents in Glostrup, Denmark, and Göteborg, Sweden, and all the residents of relevant age (127 men and 261 women) in Jyväskylä, Finland.
Assessment of postural balance with eyes open and closed using a piezoelectric force platform. A structured interview on self-reported functional ability and physical activity. An in-laboratory medical examination.
In spite of some differences in balance between the groups studied (better results in women compared with men and, to some extent, better results in the participants from Denmark and Finland than in those from Sweden), the performance in the balance tests was similarly associated with functional ability within all groups. The subjects reporting no need of help in performing the ADL and mobility functions performed significantly better in the balance tests. These differences were seen more clearly in the control of anteroposterior movement of center of forces than in the mediolateral direction. The performance in the balance tests was also significantly better among the subjects reporting a higher level of general physical activity than in their less active counterparts. Physical activity and than in their less active counterparts. Physical activity and certain long standing illnesses modified significantly the relationship between postural balance and ADL-performance. When these factors were analyzed simultaneously, the role of balance as a predictor of ADL-performance largely disappeared.
The results suggest that good balance is one of the prerequisites of performance without difficulty in mobility and ADL functions. Physical exercise may help to maintain balancing abilities in old age; good balance, in turn, may also enable a physically active way of life. The associations of balance with functional ability and physical activity were independent of sex and locality. The results also support the validity of static stabilometry as a tool for evaluating threats to functional limitations in older subjects.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
169 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mobility is essentially based on successful balance control. The evaluation of functional strategies for postural stability is requisite for effective balance rehabilitation and fall prevention in elderly subjects. Our objective was to clarify control mechanisms of different standing positions reflecting challenges of typical everyday life situations. For this purpose, elderly subjects stood on different surfaces resulting in a change of the biomechanical constraints. Sway parameters out of time and frequency domain were calculated from center-of-pressure (COP) excursions. Besides the classic quantification of the amount of sway variability, we investigated the temporal organization of postural sway by means of nonlinear time series analysis. Limb load symmetry was quantified via foot pressure insoles. We found task dependent motor outputs: (1) asymmetrical loading in all conditions; (2) altered amount and structure of COP movements with dissimilar changes in medio-lateral and anterior-posterior direction; (3) changes of the motor output affect several time scales especially when standing on a balance board or with one foot on a step. Our results indicate that elderly subjects preferred forcefully one limb which supports a step-initiation strategy. Modifications of the postural sway structure refer to the interaction of multiple control mechanisms to cope with the altered demands. The identification of postural strategies employed in daily activities augments the ecological validity of postural control studies.
    Human movement science 09/2013; · 2.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Due to inconsistent findings, the influence of vitamin D on postural body sway (PBS) is currently under debate. This study evaluated the impact of vitamin D on PBS with regards to different foot positions and eye opening states in community-dwelling older individuals. In a cross-sectional study, we assessed PBS in 342 older individuals (264 females [average age (±SD): 68.3±9.0 years], 78 males [65.7±9.6 years]). A detailed medical history and vitamin D level were obtained for each individual. Fall risk was evaluated using the New York-Presbyterian Fall Risk Assessment Tool (NY PFRA). PBS parameters (area, distance, velocity, frequency) were evaluated on a pressure plate with feet in closed stance (CS) or hip-width stance (HWS), open eyes and closed eyes. Statistical analysis included logarithmic mixed models for repeated measures with the MIXED model procedure to test the influence of vitamin D (categorized in <10μg/l, 10-20μg/l, 21-30μg/l, >30μg/l), foot position, eye opening state, age, sex and frequency of physical activity on PBS. Vitamin D was not an independent risk factor for falls experienced in the last 12 months. Nonetheless, PBS was higher in patients with vitamin D deficiency (<10μg/l) in HWS (A/P p=0.028 and area p=0.037). Additionally, vitamin D deficiency intensified the deleterious effects of male sex (distance p=0.002) and absence of vision (area p<0.001) on PBS. Independent risk factors for increased PBS like male sex and absence of vision are additionally compromised by vitamin D deficiency.
    Gait & posture 07/2013; · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of BodyBalance ® training on balance, functional task performance, fear of falling, and health-related quality of life in adults aged over 55 years. Participants and methods: A total of 28 healthy, active adults aged 66±5 years completed the randomized controlled trial. Balance, functional task performance, fear of falling, and self-reported quality of life were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks. Participants either undertook two sessions of BodyBalance per week for 12 weeks (n=15) or continued with their normal activities (n=13). Results: Significant group-by-time interactions were found for the timed up and go (P=0.038), 30-second chair stand (P=0.037), and mediolateral center-of-pressure range in narrow stance with eyes closed (P=0.017). There were no significant effects on fear of falling or self-reported quality of life. Conclusion: Twelve weeks of BodyBalance training is effective at improving certain balance and functional based tasks in healthy older adults.
    Clinical Interventions in Aging 11/2014; · 2.65 Impact Factor