Patterns of Center of Pressure Migration during Prolonged Unconstrained Standing

in Motor Control
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Prolonged (>30 min) unconstrained standing (PUS) was studied in 10 young healthy subjects. The usual methods of stabilographic analysis assume a random center of pressure (COP) migration. This study was based on the opposite idea and showed that during PUS, specific and consistent patterns of the COP migration can be recognized by a computer algorithm. Three COP migration patterns were found: (a) shifting, a fast displacement of the average position of COP from one region to another; (b) fidgeting, a fast and large displacement and returning of COP to approximately the same position; and (c) drifting, a slow continuous displacement of the average position of COP. A software code was written and default parameter values were chosen for recognizing COP migration patterns. For 30-min PUS the following patterns were identified: Shifting was generally observed every 316 ± 292 sec in the anterior-posterior (a-p) direction with an average shift amplitude of 17 ± 15 mm, and every 199 ± 148 sec in the medial-lateral (m-1) direction with an average shift amplitude of 22 ± 38 mm. Corresponding time intervals for fidgeting were 59 ± 15 sec in the a-p direction and 49±16 sec in the m-1 direction. The average drift-to-drift interval was 319 ± 173 sec in the a-p direction and 529 ± 333 sec in the m-1 direction.

Marcos Duarte is with the Biomechanics Laboratory at Penn State as a postdoctoral fellow. Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky is with the Biomechanics Laboratory, 39 Recreation Bldg, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

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