The aim of this study was to assess postural response efficiency to a self-initiated perturbation using an original method based on the inverted pendulum model. Eight young subjects were asked to perform bilateral arm raising and lowering at 3 different speeds while standing on a force plate. The time necessary to recover a steady state following the movement was computed by analyzing the time evolution of the coefficient of determination between the center of pressure and center of mass difference variable (COP-COM) and the horizontal acceleration of the COM. Results show a spatial reorganization (hip strategy) of the segments following the perturbation and a strong influence of the linear relationship to the arm velocity. However, the conditions of arm velocity did not have any effect on the time response of the postural control, suggesting that this parameter would be an invariant characteristic of the movement. These results support the existence of an internal representation of the inertial constraints related to the movement execution.
N. Termoz and L. Martin are with the Laboratoire Sport et Performance Motrice, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble 1, Grenoble, France. Termoz and F. Prince are with the Départements de Kinésiologie/Chirurgie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada H1T 1C9, and the Centre de réadaptation Marie-Enfant, Laboratoire de posture et de locomotion, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.