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J Biomech. 2004 Sep;37(9):1421-6.

Comparison of three methods to estimate the center of mass during balance assessment.

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Centre de réadaptation Marie Enfant, 5200 Bélanger Est, Montreal, H1T 1C9, Canada.

Erratum in

  • J Biomech. 2004 Sep;37(9):1455.


Evaluation of postural control is generally based on the interpretation of the center of pressure (COP) and the center of mass (COM) time series. The purpose of this study is to compare three methods to estimate the COM which are based on different biomechanical considerations. These methods are: (1) the kinematic method; (2) the zero-point-to-zero-point double integration technique (GLP) and (3) the COP low-pass filter method (LPF). The COP and COM time series have been determined using an experimental setup with a force plate and a 3D kinematic system on six healthy young adult subjects during four different 30 s standing tasks: (a) quiet standing; (b) one leg standing; (c) voluntary oscillation about the ankles and (d) voluntary oscillation about the ankles and hips. To test the difference between the COM trajectories, the root mean square (RMS) differences between each method (three comparisons) were calculated. The RMS differences between kinematic-LPF and GLP-LPF are significantly larger than kinematic-GLP. Our results show that the GLP method is comparable to the kinematic method. Both agree with the unified theory of balance during upright stance. The GLP method is attractive in the clinical perspective because it requires only a force plate to determine the COP-COM variable, which has been demonstrated to have a high reliability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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