Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Aging and Physical Activity Level Influences on Postural Stability of Women

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Aging and Physical Activity Level Influences on Postural Stability of Women

Article excerpt

Pamela J. Hoyes Beehler and Michael D. Hartman, University of Texas--Arlington

Losing balance and falling during standing or locomotion is a threat to the safety and health of older populations. It has been estimated that one half of the population over 65 years old will fall at least once a year, and hospitalization for hip fracture is increasing approximately 9% each year. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of age and physical activity level on the postural stability of young and middle-aged adult women to determine when postural stability begins to decline. Thirty-two female participants (16 physically active and 16 physically inactive) volunteered for this study. Four age groups were examined: 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, and 50-59 years. Postural stability was measured over three 30 s intervals per condition using a force platform (Human Performance Measurement, Model BEP IV) connected in series to a computer. Postural stability was examined during a baseline condition (2 legs, both eyes open), and while performing a functional reach (FR) test (2 legs, both eyes open, a rms raised to 90 degrees and body leaning forward to the participant's maximum without falling). …

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