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Daniel Leightley, Moi Hoon Yap, Jessica Coulson, Mathew Piasecki, James Cameron, Yoann Barnouin, Jon Tobias and Jamie S. McPhee

The aim of this study was to compare postural sway during a series of static balancing tasks and during five chair rises between healthy young (mean [SEM], age 26 [1] years), healthy old (age 67 [1] years) and master athlete runners (age 67 [1] years; competing and training for the previous 51 [5] years) using the Microsoft Kinect One. The healthy old had more sway than the healthy young in all balance tasks. The master athletes had similar sway to young athletes during two-leg balancing and one-leg standing with eyes open. When balancing on one leg with eyes closed, both the healthy old and the master athletes had around 17-fold more sway than the young athletes. The healthy old and master athletes also had less anterio-posterior movement during chair rising compared with young athletes. These results suggest that masters runners are not spared from the age-associated decline in postural stability and may benefit from specific balance training.