Aging and time to instability in posture

Semyon Slobounov, Sarah A. Moss, Elena S. Slobounova, Karl M. Newell

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109 Scopus citations


Two experiments are reported that were set up to examine the spatial- temporal boundaries of postural instability in upright stance as a function of age (60-96 years) and postural conditions. Subjects stood on a force platform under different experimental conditions (vision/no vision and arms up/down) so that the effect of age on key dynamic properties of postural stability could be determined. The findings showed that the ratio of the area of the motion of the center of pressure to the area within the stability boundary increased with age. Also, the virtual time-to-contact with the postural stability boundary decreased with age. Collectively, the findings show that the margins to the spatial-temporal boundaries of postural stability decrease with advancing age in the elderly. These reduced margins of dynamic stability may be a factor contributing to the progressive instability of posture with aging in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)B71-B78
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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