The study reported had three purposes, namely, to analyze the effect of aging (cohort groups 20–29, 60–69, 70–79, and 80–89 years of age), step length, and self-efficacy on the time to reacquire stability after the execution of a step. The analysis of force-platform data showed that the time to reacquire a stable posture after taking a step increased with increments of age. Correlation analysis showed that older adults were less confident in their ability to complete daily activities without falling or losing balance and that participants with lower levels of balance-related efficacy required a longer time to reacquire stability. These findings provide evidence that aging imposes temporal limitations in the regaining of postural stability that are related to individuals’ perceptions of balance and falls efficacy.
Johnson is with the Health, Physical Education, & Athletics Dept., University of Wisconsin, Parkside, Kenosha, WI 53141-2000. Mihalko is with the Dept. of Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27106. Newell is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.