Age-Related Changes in Postural Control: Rambling and Trembling Trajectories

in Motor Control
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This study identified and quantified rambling and trembling properties of the postural control system of children 4–12 years of age. Forty five children of varying ages (4-, 8-, and 12-years) and 15 adults stood upright on a force plate and performed 5 trials with and 5 trials without vision with each trial lasting 30 s. Center of pressure, rambling, trembling, mean sway amplitude, and predominant frequency were obtained. Results revealed that the displacement of the center of pressure and overall rambling trajectories were age-related with younger children swaying more than older children and adults. Similarly, overall trembling trajectories for younger children were larger compared with older children and adults. These results suggested that a younger child’s larger body sway mostly results from difficulties using sensory information when estimating overall body position and velocity in an upright stance and is less a result from the noise in the postural control system.

Ferronato is with the Institute of Health Science, Paulista University (UNIP), Alphaville Campus, Santana de Parnaíba, SP, Brazil. Barela is with the Institute of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Cruzeiro do Sul University, São Paulo, SP, Brazil, and in the Graduate Program—Human Movement Sciences.