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Neurosci Lett. 2003 Oct 30;350(3):137-40.

Age-induced modifications of static postural control in humans.

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Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at Serres, Agios Ioannis, 62110 Serres, Greece.


We examined how young and older adults adapt their posture to static balance tasks of increasing difficulty. Participants stood barefoot on a force platform in normal quiet, Romberg-sharpened and one-legged stance. Center of pressure (CoP) variations, electromyographic (EMG) activity of ankle and hip muscles and kinematic data were recorded. Both groups increased postural sway as a result of narrowing the base of support. Greater CoP excursions, EMG activity and joint displacements were noted in old compared to younger adults. Older adults displayed increased hip movement accompanied by higher hip EMG activity, whereas no similar increase was noted in the younger group. It is concluded that older adults rely more on their hip muscles when responding to self induced perturbations introduced by increased task constraints during quiet standing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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