CHANGES IN BALANCE PERFORMANCE IN PHYSICALLY ACTIVE ELDERLY PEOPLE AGED 73–80
Ann-Sofi Gustafson, Lisbeth Noaksson, Ann-Charlotte Grahn Kronhed, Margareta Möller and Claes Möller
In our hospital in 1989 a series of 30 healthy elderly people participated in a study to evaluate the effect of physical training on improving balance. Thereafter, the majority of the people in this group continued with some kind of balance training. Seven years later we followed up 17 of the people who had participated in the original study. We wanted to evaluate the balance performance of these physically active elderly people (mean age 80.5 years) and compare it with their balance performance 7 years previously. Balance was found to be signi cantly impaired compared with 1989 in four out of six static balance tests. The time required to walk 30 m had increased signi cantly. The subjective ratings of vertigo and balance problems had not changed signi cantly, neither had the number of correct steps when walking forwards on one line and backwards between two lines. In dynamic posturography, the test with sway-referenced visual cues showed improved postural control, but no change in sway was seen in the other ve sensory conditions. When sudden backward translations of the platform occurred, increased latencies of force response were seen
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