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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Jan-Feb;56(1):129-33. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.08.009. Epub 2012 Sep 7.

Effect of the muscle coactivation during quiet standing on dynamic postural control in older adults.

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  • 1Faculty of Health Science, Department of Physical Therapy, Kyoto Tachibana University, Japan.


Recently, several studies have reported that muscle coactivation during static postural control increases with aging. Although greater muscle coactivation during quiet standing enhances joint stability, it may reduce dynamic postural control. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of muscle coactivation during quiet standing on dynamic postural control. Seventy older adults (81.1 ± 7.2 years) participated in this study. Static postural control was evaluated by postural sway during quiet standing, whereas dynamic postural control was evaluated by the functional reach and functional stability boundary tests. Electromyography of the soleus (SOL) and tibialis anterior (TA) was recorded during quiet standing, then coactivation was evaluated using the co-contraction index (CI). We used multiple regression analysis to identify the effect of muscle coactivation during standing on each dynamic postural control variable using age, body mass index (BMI), gender, timed up and go (TUG) tests, postural sway area and CI during quiet standing as independent variables. TUG tests were added to the model to evaluate the effect of functional mobility on dynamic postural control with a fixed base. The multiple regression analysis revealed that CI during standing was significantly related to all of the dynamic postural control tasks. The functional reach distance was significantly associated with CI during standing, age and TUG (p<0.05). The functional stability boundary for forward and backward were associated only with CI during standing (p<0.05). This study revealed that muscle coactivation during quiet standing is independently associated with dynamic postural control abilities.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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