Time-to-Boundary Measures of Postural Control during Single Leg Quiet Standing

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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A novel approach to quantifying postural stability in single leg stance is assessment of time-to-boundary (TTB) of center of pressure (COP) excursions. TTB measures estimate the time required for the COP to reach the boundary of the base of support if it were to continue on its instantaneous trajectory and velocity, thus quantifying the spatiotemporal characteristics of postural control. Our purposes were to examine: (a) the intrasession reliability of TTB and traditional COP-based measures of postural control, and (b) the correlations between these measures. Twenty-four young women completed three 10-second trials of single-limb quiet standing on each limb. Traditional measures included mean velocity, standard deviation, and range of mediolateral (ML) and anterior-posterior (AP) COP excursions. TTB variables were the absolute minimum, mean of minimum samples, and standard deviation of minimum samples in the ML and AP directions. The intrasession reliability of TTB measures was comparable to traditional COP based measures. Correlations between TTB and traditional COP based measures were weaker than those within each category of measures, indicating that TTB measures capture different aspects of postural control than traditional measures. TTB measures provide a unique method of assessing spatiotemporal characteristics of postural control during single limb stance.

University of Virginia, Kinesiology Program, 210 Emmet Street South, Charlottesville, VA 22904

Dept. of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

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