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Exploring Training Methodologies Towards the Improvement of Elderly Balance

[+] Author Affiliations
Lara A. Thompson, Joao Augusto Renno Brusamolin, Jelani Guise, Mehdi Badache, Sandy Collado Estrada, Lonika Behera, Marzieh Savadkoohi, Tyra Coombs, Pablo Sanchez Guerrero, Devdas Shetty

University of the District of Columbia (UDC), Washington, DC

Paper No. IMECE2018-86815, pp. V003T04A038; 4 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5202-6
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of utilizing sensory (i.e., vision and touch), as well as static and dynamic base of support training on the balance of senior participants aged 60–80 years old. For each participant, there were several weeks of training, two sessions per week and assessments every two weeks. Training included walking and standing exercises on a hard surface, compliant and stiffer foam walking and standing balance training, and navigating obstacles. Within each session, to modify vision, all training included eyes-open and closed. Further, there were increases in training difficulty as the sessions progressed.

It was observed that training over several weeks resulted in increases in stability, as observed by the decreases in Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) assessment results. However, increases in balance confidence, as observed by the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale were less certain in this healthy elderly (or senior) population. It is an interesting and positive finding that, in doing relatively simple, but targeted exercises and training, senior individuals can have moderate improvements in their balance and, perhaps ultimately, reduce their fall-risk.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Topics: Stability , Errors , Risk



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