Postural Control Entropy Is Increased When Adopting an External Focus of Attention

in Motor Control
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Falls in older adults are a public health challenge due to their influence on well-being and health-care costs. One way to address this challenge is to discover new methods to enhance postural control in older adults so they are better prepared to maintain an upright stance. Older and younger adults (N = 32) performed a static balance task on a force plate with no instructions, internal focus instructions, or external focus instructions. Center of pressure displacement time series were analyzed using sample entropy and standard deviation. Only the external focus condition significantly increased postural control entropy, which was observed across both age groups. This study showed that an external focus of attention can be used to increase postural control entropy within a single session of testing.

Rhea and Raisbeck are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC. Diekfuss is with the Division of Sports Medicine, The SPORT Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH. Fairbrother is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN.

Address author correspondence to Christopher K. Rhea at ckrhea@uncg.edu.
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