Gender Differences in Static and Dynamic Postural Stability of Soldiers in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation

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Timothy C. Sell
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Mita T. Lovalekar
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Takashi Nagai
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Michael D. Wirt
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John P. Abt
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Scott M. Lephart
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Context: Postural stability is essential for injury prevention and performance. Differences between genders may affect training focus. Objective: To examine static and dynamic postural stability in male and female soldiers. Design: Descriptive laboratory study. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: 25 healthy female soldiers (26.4 ± 5.3 y) and 25 healthy male soldiers (26.4 ± 4.9 y) matched on physical demand rating and years of service from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Interventions: Each person underwent static and dynamic postural stability testing. Main Outcome Measures: Standard deviation of the ground reaction forces during static postural stability and the dynamic stability index for dynamic postural stability. Results: Female soldiers had significantly better static postural stability than males but no differences were observed in dynamic postural stability. Conclusions: Postural stability is important for injury prevention, performance optimization, and tactical training. The differences observed in the current study may indicate the need for gender-specific training emphasis on postural stability.

Sell is with the Michael W. Kryzewski Human Performance Laboratory, Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC. Lovalekar and Nagai are with the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Dept of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. Wirt is with the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, JBSA Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX. Abt and Lephart are with the College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Address author correspondence to Timothy C. Sell at timothy.sell@duke.edu.
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