Balance Perturbations as a Measurement Tool for Trunk Impairment in Cross-Country Sit Skiing

in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly
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In cross-country sit-skiing, the trunk plays a crucial role in propulsion generation and balance maintenance. Trunk stability is evaluated by automatic responses to unpredictable perturbations; however, electromyography is challenging. The aim of this study was to identify a measure to group sit-skiers according to their ability to control the trunk. Seated in their competitive sit-ski, 10 male and 5 female Paralympic sit-skiers received 6 forward and 6 backward unpredictable perturbations in random order. k-means clustered trunk position at rest, delay to invert the trunk motion, and trunk range of motion significantly into 2 groups. In conclusion, unpredictable perturbations might quantify trunk impairment and may become an important tool in the development of an evidence-based classification system for cross-country sit-skiers.

Rosso and Gastaldi are with the Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy. Rosso and Linnamo are with Biology of Physical Activity, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, and Äyrämö, the Faculty of Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. Rapp is with the Dept. of Sport and Sport Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. Lindinger is with the Dept. of Food and Nutrition and Sport Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Vanlandewijck is with the Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Rosso (valeria_rosso@polito.it) is corresponding author.
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