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Effects of a dynamic balance training protocol on podalic support in older women. Pilot Study

  • Authors: Battaglia, G.; Bellafiore, M.; Bianco, A.; Paoli, A.; Palma, A.
  • Publication year: 2009
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Key words: older women, human balance, training
  • OA Link:


Background and aims: The foot provides the only direct contact with supporting surfaces and therefore plays an important role in all postural tasks. Changes in the musculoskeletal and neurological characteristics of the foot with advancing age can alter plantar loading patterns and postural balance. Several studies have reported that exercise training improves postural performance in elderly individuals. The aim of our study was to investigate the effectiveness of a dynamic balance training protocol performed for 5 weeks on the support surface, percentage distribution of load in both feet, and body balance performance in healthy elderly women. Methods: Ten subjects (68.67±5.50 yrs old; 28.17±3.35 BMI) were evaluated with a monopodalic performance test and baropodometric analyses before and after the training period. Results: We found a significant improvement in balance unipedal performance times on left and right foot by 20.18% and 26.23% respectively (p<0.05). The support surface of the right foot significantly increased in response to the training protocol and, in particular, in both forefoot and rearfoot regions (p<0.05). In addition, before the training period, load distribution on the left foot was greater than on the right one; equal load redistribution was measured on both feet in response to exercise (p>0.05). Conclusions: The increased support surface and equal redistribution of body weight on both feet obtained in response to our training protocol may be postural adaptations sufficient to improve static balance in elderly women. ©2010, Editrice Kurtis.