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J Mot Behav. 2016 Jul-Aug;48(4):341-7. doi: 10.1080/00222895.2015.1095154. Epub 2016 Jan 5.

Long-Term Adaptations to Unexpected Surface Perturbations: Postural Control During Stance and Gait in Train Conductors.

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a Movement and Training Science, University of Wuppertal , Germany.


The authors aimed to evaluate the differences in postural control during stance and gait between train conductors and controls. Twenty-one train conductors and 21 office workers performed 6 unilateral and bilateral balance tests on stable and unstable surfaces as well as a gait analysis. In the balance tests, the mean velocity of the center of pressure and unstable surface was measured. In the bilateral balance tests the selected stance width was measured. During gait the length, width, frequency, and velocity of the steps were calculated from the ground reaction forces. Train conductors showed a significantly greater step width during gait (15.4 ± 4.7 vs. 13.0 ± 3.4 cm; p = .035) and stance width during the bilateral stance on the unstable surface (21.0 ± 5.1 vs. 17.8 ± 3.7 cm; p = .026) than the office workers, while no differences were revealed in balance variables. The revealed differences between train conductors and office workers may represent task-specific feedforward control strategies, which increase the base of support and may be helpful to resist unexpected perturbations in trains.


balance; center of pressure; ground reaction force; public transportation

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