One-leg stance in healthy young and elderly adults: A measure of postural steadiness?

ArticleinClinical Biomechanics 19(7):688-94 · September 2004with82 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.97 · DOI: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2004.04.002 · Source: PubMed

To investigate postural steadiness during 30 s of one-leg stance in healthy young and elderly adults, by analysing the pattern of the ground reaction force variability. A laboratory set-up was used to analyse the variability of the ground reaction forces in relation to time as a measure of postural steadiness. The one-leg stance test is a measure considered to assess postural steadiness in a static position by a temporal measurement. The common notion is that a better postural steadiness, i.e. less force variability, allows for longer time standing on one leg. However, there is lack of evidence how postural steadiness during one-leg stance changes over time. Twenty-eight healthy elderly and 28 healthy young adults were tested by means of force plates assessing ground reaction forces while performing one-leg stance. During one-leg stance, two phases could be identified in both groups: First a dynamic phase, a rapid decrease of force variability, and thereafter a static phase, maintaining a certain level of force variability. During the first 5 s of one-leg stance the force variability decreased significantly more in the young group resulting in a lower force variability level during the static phase than in the elderly. The difficulties in maintaining the static position in elderly seems dependent on the reduced initial decrease in force variability and/or musculoskeletal components. We suggest that the first 5 s are crucial when assessing balance during one-leg stance.

    • "The COP during quiet standing represents the position of resultant ground reaction forces under the feet and can be measured during static posturography using a force plate (Jonsson et al. 2004, Mochizuki et al. 2006). In order to examine postural control, disturbances of the sensory systems can be applied through visual (Pavlou et al. 2011), proprioceptive (Eklund 1972, Hytönen et al. 1989), or artificial vestibular (Peterka 2002) disturbance. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Preserving upright stance requires central integration of the sensory systems and appropriate motor output from the neuromuscular system to keep the centre of pressure (COP) within the base of support. Unilateral peripheral vestibular disorder (UPVD) causes diminished stance stability. The aim of this study was to determine the limits of stability and to examine the contribution of multiple sensory systems to upright standing in UPVD patients and healthy subjects. We hypothesized that closure of the eyes and Achilles tendon vibration during upright stance will augment the postural sway in UPVD patients more than in healthy subjects. Seventeen UPVD patients and 17 healthy subjects performed six tasks on a force plate: forwards and backwards leaning, to determine limits of stability, and upright standing with and without Achilles tendon vibration, each with eyes open and closed (with blackout glasses). The COP displacement of the patients was significantly greater in the vibration tasks than the controls and came closer to the posterior base of support boundary than the controls in all tasks. Achilles tendon vibration led to a distinctly more backward sway in both subject groups. Five of the patients could not complete the eyes closed with vibration task. Due to the greater reduction in stance stability when the proprioceptive, compared with the visual, sensory system was disturbed, we suggest that proprioception may be more important for maintaining upright stance than vision. UPVD patients, in particular, showed more difficulty in controlling postural stability in the posterior direction with visual and proprioceptive sensory disturbance.
    Full-text · Article · May 2016 · Somatosensory & Motor Research
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    • "This test was performed to assess static balance [52,53]. The subject was asked to stand on one leg with eyes open and "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background One of the effects of diabetes mellitus (DM), peripheral neuropathy, affects the sensation in the feet and can increase the chance of falling. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of 8 weeks of Tai Chi (TC) training combined with mental imagery (MI) on improving balance in people with diabetes and an age matched control group. Material/Methods Seventeen healthy subjects and 12 diabetic sedentary subjects ranging from 40–80 years of age were recruited. All subjects in both groups attended a Yang style of TC class using MI strategies, 2 sessions a week for 8 weeks. Each session was one hour long. Measures were taken using a balance platform test, an Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) Scale, a one leg standing test (OLS), functional reach test (FRT) and hemoglobin A1C. These measures were taken twice, pre and post-study, for both groups. Results Both groups experienced significant improvements in ABC, OLS, FRT (P<0.01) after completing 8 weeks of TC exercise with no significant improvement between groups. Subjects using the balance platform test demonstrated improvement in balance in all different tasks with no significant change between groups. There was no significant change in HbA1C for the diabetic group. Conclusions All results showed an improvement in balance in the diabetic and the control groups; however, no significant difference between the groups was observed. Since the DM group had more problems with balance impairment at baseline than the control, the diabetic group showed the most benefit from the TC exercise.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research
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    • "The current study followed the method used in the study of Sung et al. [14] and did not analyze the initial 5 seconds of the single-leg standing test. However, Jonsson et al. suggested that the first 5 seconds are crucial when assessing balance during single-leg stance [45]. In their study, compared to young adults, older adults demonstrated a reduced decrease of force variability during the initial transition phase from standing to leg holding, resulting in difficulties in maintain steadiness during the following static phase. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were to compare the steadiness index of spinal regions during single-leg standing in older adults with and without chronic low back pain (LBP) and to correlate measurements of steadiness index with the performance of clinical balance tests. Thirteen community-dwelling older adults (aged 55 years or above) with chronic LBP and 13 age- and gender-matched asymptomatic volunteers participated in this study. Data collection was conducted in a university research laboratory. Measurements were steadiness index of spinal regions (trunk, thoracic spine, lumbar spine, and pelvis) during single-leg standing including relative holding time (RHT) and relative standstill time (RST), and clinical balance tests (timed up and go test and 5-repetition sit to stand test). The LBP group had a statistically significantly smaller RHT than the control group, regardless of one leg stance on the painful or non-painful sides. The RSTs on the painful side leg in the LBP group were not statistically significantly different from the average RSTs of both legs in the control group; however, the RSTs on the non-painful side leg in the LBP group were statistically significantly smaller than those in the control group for the trunk, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine. No statistically significant intra-group differences were found in the RHTs and RSTs between the painful and non-painful side legs in the LBP group. Measurements of clinical balance tests also showed insignificant weak to moderate correlations with steadiness index. In conclusion, older adults with chronic LBP demonstrated decreased spinal steadiness not only in the symptomatic lumbar spine but also in the other spinal regions within the kinetic chain of the spine. When treating older adults with chronic LBP, clinicians may also need to examine their balance performance and spinal steadiness during balance challenging tests.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · PLoS ONE
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