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Original Research

IJHSR. 2016; 6(12): 108-113

Surface Stability Affects Forward Reaction Time in Healthy Elderly Subjects.

Libak Abou, Paloma Vanessa Coelho Campos, Juliana Siebra Barbosa, Luis Mochizuki, Gilmar Moraes Santos.

Background: Falls are a major problem in the elderly population. Assessment of postural stability in elderly on different surfaces is a challenge for clinicians and practitioners.
Aims: Our main objective was to assess and compare healthy elderly reaction time on an unstable and a stable surface support of the limits of stability (LOS).
Materials and Methods: Ten healthy elderly performed the limits of stability of the Computerized Dynamic Posturography under 2 conditions of surface support; condition 1: with a foam pad (Neurocom foam pad) to simulate an unstable surface and condition 2: without foam pad to mean a stable surface. Subjects had to move their center of pressure on four directions: forward, right, back, and left for each condition.
Results: The results indicated that there is a significant difference (p < 0.05) in reaction time of the limits of stability only in forward direction between both surface support conditions.
Conclusions: Training elderly balance on an unstable surface using a foam pad seems to be effective to improve reaction time while preparing elderly falls protection strategy.

Key words: Reaction time; Healthy elderly; Surface stability; Limits of stability.

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