Postural balance and aging : cross-sectional comparative studies and a balance training intervention
Published inStudies in sport, physical education and health
Sanna Sihvonen tutki väitöskirjatyössään eri-ikäisten henkilöitten tasapainoa ja yksilöllisen näköpalautteeseen perustuvan tasapainoharjoittelun vaikuttavuutta ikääntyneillä palvelukodissa asuvilla naisilla. Sihvonen havaitsi eri-ikäisten tasapainokyvyssä eroja. Näköpalautteeseen perustuva harjoittelu osoittautui lupaavaksi kuntoutusmuodoksi tasapainon parantamisessa ja kaatumisten ehkäisyssä iäkkäillä palvelukodissa asuvilla naisilla.Tasapainon hallinta vaikuttaa olennaisesti ikääntyneen henkilön kykyyn suoriutua itsenäisesti jokapäiväisistä toiminnoista. Tasapainoon liittyvät ongelmat ovat ikääntyneiden keskuudessa yleisiä ja ne ovat eräs kaatumistapaturmien keskeinen taustatekijä. Viime aikoina on otettu käyttöön uusia menetelmiä, joiden avulla pyritään selvittämään mm. iän myötä tasapainossa tapahtuvia muutoksia ja kehittämään uusia menetelmiä tasapainon harjoittamiseksi.This study was undertaken to gain knowledge about postural balance across different age groups of men and women aged 8-93 years and between middle-aged and older female fallers and non-fallers aged 50-68 years. In addition, the effects of balance training on postural balance and falls were investigated among frail older women living in residential care. In cross-sectional comparative studies postural balance was measured using standardized force platform balance tests assessing body sway in various standing positions. In the balance training study the exercise group participated in visual feedback-based balance training for four weeks three times a week. Balance measurements were carried out before and after the training period. The dimensions of balance function studied were standing body sway, dynamic weight shifting and functional balance test performance (Berg Balance Scale). After the training period one year fall surveillance was carried out. The balance measurements in various age groups showed a U-shaped dependency between body sway and age, indicating that children and older adults had higher body sway compared to the middle-aged subjects. Among middle-aged and older subjects men showed higher sway velocities than women. No significant differences were detected in postural balance between middle-aged and older female fallers and non-fallers. In younger fallers aged 50-58 years health-related problems and use of medication were commoner than in non-fallers. Among frail older women improvements in postural balance after balance training were found. Moreover, a significant reduction in the monthly risk of falling was demonstrated in the training group. A deeper understanding of balance behavior across the life span can be helpful in preventing and treating balance impairments among older adults. The results of the intervention study indicate that balance training may be a useful strategy in balance rehabilitation and fall prevention among older women with health limitations. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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- Väitöskirjat 
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