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Hwang-Jae Lee, Won Hyuk Chang, Sun Hee Hwang, Byung-Ok Choi, Gyu-Ha Ryu and Yun-Hee Kim

The purpose of this study was to examine age-related gait characteristics and their associations with balance function in older adults. A total of 51 adult volunteers participated. All subjects underwent locomotion analysis using a 3D motion analysis and 12-channel dynamic electromyography system. Dynamic balance function was assessed by the Berg Balance Scale. Older adults showed a higher level of muscle activation than young adults, and there were significant positive correlations between increased age and activation of the trunk and thigh muscles in the stance and swing phase of the gait cycle. In particular, back extensor muscle activity was mostly correlated with the dynamic balance in older adults. Thus, back extensor muscle activity in walking may provide a clue for higher falling risk in older adults. This study demonstrates that the back extensor muscles play very important roles with potential for rehabilitation training to improve balance and gait in older adults.

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Hadas Gabizon, Yan Press, Ilia Volkov and Itshak Melzer

Objectives:

To evaluate the effect of a group-based Pilates training program on balance control and health status in healthy older adults.

Design:

A single-blind, randomized, controlled trial.

Setting:

General community.

Participants:

A total of 88 community-dwelling older adults (age 71.15 ± 4.30 years), without evidence of functional balance impairment, were recruited and allocated at random to a Pilates intervention group (n = 44) or a control group (n = 44).

Intervention:

The Pilates intervention group received 36 training sessions over three months (3 sessions a week), while the control group did not receive any intervention.

Outcome measures:

Standing upright postural stability, performance-based measures of balance, and self-reported health status was assessed in both groups at baseline and at the end of the intervention period.

Results:

Compared with the control group, the Pilates intervention did not improve postural stability, baseline functional measures of balance, or health status.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that because Pilates training is not task specific, it does not improve balance control or balance function in independent older adults.

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Marjorie H. Woollacott and Anne Shumway-Cook

Current research suggests that there are complex interactions between intrinsic factors related to the individual and extrinsic environmental factors, all of which contribute to falls in the older adult. A new approach to balance assessment, the task-oriented conceptual framework for clinical intervention, takes into account many of these intrinsic and extrinsic variables in assessing balance function. It contains three levels of assessment of balance and gait function: performance-based functional assessment, strategy assessment, and impairment assessment. This approach quantifies performance on functional tests of balance, determines the strategies used by the individual to carry out functional tasks, and evaluates the relative contribution of specific neural and musculoskeletal variables to normal postural control. Results of recent experiments suggest that older adults who are given a sensory training program that is designed to improve the organization of sensory inputs contributing to balance control (strategy level) are able to significantly improve sway and that this training effect transfers to other balance conditions.

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Shirley S.M. Fong and Gabriel Y.F. Ng

Taekwondo (TKD) is a popular sport among adolescents. This study aims to (a) compare the balance performance between adolescent TKD practitioners at different levels of expertise with nonpractitioners and (b) determine the sensory system(s) that contributed to the balance function in adolescents with and without TKD training. Subjects with >5 years of TKD training (n = 11), <4 years of training (n = 10), and no training (n = 10) participated in this study. The sway velocity, somatosensory, vestibular and visual ratios were recorded during standing on a balance testing system. Both short- and long-term TKD practitioners swayed slower than control subjects when standing on one leg (p = .016 and 0.012, respectively). However, only short-term practitioners have better visual ratio (p = .018) and vestibular ratio (p = .029) than control subjects. There was no significant difference in the somatosensory ratio among the 3 groups. We conclude that adolescents undertaking TKD training may have better balance performance than untrained subjects.

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Jonathan M. Williams, Michael Gara and Carol Clark

Context: Balance is important for injury prediction, prevention, and rehabilitation. Clinical measurement of higher level balance function such as hop landing is necessary. Currently, no method exists to quantify balance performance following hopping in the clinic. Objective: To quantify the sacral acceleration profile and test–retest reliability during hop landing. Participants: A total of 17 university undergraduates (age 27.6 [5.7] y, height 1.73 [0.11] m, weight 74.1 [13.9] kg). Main Outcome Measure: A trunk-mounted accelerometer captured the acceleration profile following landing from hopping forward, medially, and laterally. The path length of the acceleration traces were computed to quantify balance following landing. Results: Moderate to excellent reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient .67–.93) for hop landing was established with low to moderate SEM (4%–16%) and minimal detectable change values (13%–44%) for each of the hop directions. Significant differences were determined in balance following hop landing from the different directions. Conclusion: The results suggest that hop landing balance can be quantified by trunk-mounted accelerometry.

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Michaela Gstöttner, Andreas Neher, Arne Scholtz, Martin Millonig, Sandra Lembert and Christian Raschner

The aim of this study was to evaluate balance abilities and electromyographic (EMG) latency times of the preferred and nonpreferred leg in soccer players. Whereas side differences between the two legs in force, kicking speed, and joint laxity have been demonstrated in athletes in previous studies, no data are so far available on balance differences. Low balance ability is generally associated with an increased risk of ligament injuries, and the detection of a possible asymmetry in balance is important because a bilateral difference may be a contributing factor to injury. Twenty-one amateur soccer players were tested. Two different balance test instruments were used: the Biodex Stability System and the Tetrax System. For the evaluation of muscle latency times, EMGs were recorded by means of the EquiTest system. None of the tests performed in this study revealed statistically significant differences in balance ability between the preferred and the nonpreferred leg. The investigations of balance function and muscle response in amateur soccer players did not reveal significant differences between the preferred and nonpreferred leg in the current study. However, a certain tendency to better balance in the nonpreferred leg was observed.

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M. Burns * 4 2017 25 2 240 246 10.1123/japa.2015-0321 Age-Related Locomotion Characteristics in Association with Balance Function in Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Adults Hwang-Jae Lee * Won Hyuk Chang * Sun Hee Hwang * Byung-Ok Choi * Gyu-Ha Ryu * Yun-Hee Kim * 4 2017 25 2 247 253 10

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Shelly L. Massingale, Amy D. Alexander, Steven M. Erickson, Elizabeth S. McQueary, Richard D. Gerkin, Sarah B. Schodrof, Haroon M. Kisana and Jamie E. Pardini

sensitivity to peripheral vestibular function assessment. 9 , 10 The Concussion Balance Test (COBALT © ) is a balance function assessment that expands on the mCTSIB with the addition of active challenges to the vestibular system. The higher-level challenges that are performed on firm and foam surfaces include

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Meltem Dizdar, Jale Fatma Irdesel, Oguzhan Sıtkı Dizdar and Mine Topsaç

lower extremity muscle strength as a result of a 3-month exercise program. This study was planned to evaluate the effect of balance, strengthening, and aerobic exercises on static and dynamic balance functions and the frequency of falls in postmenopausal patients with OP. Unlike previous studies, this

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Kyoungyoun Park, Thomas Ksiazek and Bernadette Olson

balance function. Categories of exercises for vestibular rehabilitation and in the home exercise program included:  • Gaze stabilization exercise: individual maintained a fixed gaze position with turning the head from side to side in sitting and standing position  • Standing balance: standing with feet