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The aim of this study was to investigate whether parameters from an instrumented one-leg stance on a force plate test could provide relevant information related to fall risk in older people. Twenty-five community dwelling older people and 25 young subjects performed a one-leg stance while standing on a force plate, with parameters related to transferring weight onto one leg and postural sway in singe-leg stance evaluated. Older participants were classified as being at risk of falling if their performance did not meet one of the previously-established cut-offs for the Five Times Sit-To-Stand and Timed-Up-and-Go tests. Eleven older participants were classified as having a risk of falls. The only significant difference between groups during the weight transfer phase was in the mediolateral displacement, with the fall risk group having less sway than the other groups, signifying a more precautionary approach. With respect to postural sway, both the younger subjects and the no fall risk group stabilised sufficiently to decrease their sway compared to initial values after four and six seconds, respectively. In contrast, the fall risk group was unable to stabilise during the one-leg stance, and continued to sway throughout the 10-sec recording period. These findings suggest that the normal one-leg stance test might not be suitable to detect fall risk. In contrast, an instrumented version of the test could provide valuable additional information that could identify risk of falling in older people.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of biomechanical engineering
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