Differential Effects of Perturbation Magnitude on Reactive Balance Control in Young Sedentary Adults

in Motor Control
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  • 1 Comenius University in Bratislava
  • 2 Slovak University of Technology
  • 3 University of Almería
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This study investigates postural responses to unexpected perturbations induced by a load release of different weights. Groups of 26 men (age 22.6 ± 2.4 years, height 178.0 ± 9.1 cm, and body mass 86.9 ± 11.5 kg) and 21 women (age 21.9 ± 2.7 years, height 168.8 ± 6.8 cm, and body mass 65.3 ± 8.7 kg) underwent load-triggered postural perturbations by 1 and 2 kg while standing on a force plate with either eyes open or eyes closed. Postural perturbations induced by a heavier load, representing about 2% and 3% of body weight in men and women, respectively, led to significantly higher peak anterior and peak posterior center of pressure displacements when compared with a lighter load (29.6% and 45.4%, respectively) both with eyes open (36.9%) and closed (42.1%). Their values were significantly lower in men than women only when a higher load was used (∼25%). However, there were no significant differences in time to peak anterior and posterior center of pressure displacements. These findings indicate that heavier load-induced postural perturbations are greater in women than men regardless of visual conditions. This underlines the importance of loading dose in the magnitude of postural responses to externally induced perturbations.

Zemková is with the Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia; and the Sports Technology Institute, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia. Cepková is with the Centre of Languages and Sports, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia. Muyor is with the Laboratory of Kinesiology, Biomechanics and Ergonomics, Health Research Centre, University of Almería, Almeria, Spain.

Zemková (erika.zemkova@uniba.sk) is corresponding author.
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