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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 309386, 7 pages
Research Article

Effects of Fourteen-Day Bed Rest on Trunk Stabilizing Functions in Aging Adults

1Department for Health Study, Andrej Marušič Institute, University of Primorska, Muzejski Trg 2, SI-6000 Koper, Slovenia
2Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, University of Primorska, Glagoljaska 8, SI-6000 Koper, Slovenia
3S2P Ltd., Laboratory for Motor Control and Motor Behaviour, Tehnoloski Park 19, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Received 24 April 2015; Revised 15 June 2015; Accepted 1 July 2015

Academic Editor: Thierry Paillard

Copyright © 2015 Nejc Sarabon and Jernej Rosker. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bed rest has been shown to have detrimental effects on structural and functional characteristics of the trunk muscles, possibly affecting trunk and spinal stability. This is especially important in populations such as aging adults with often altered trunk stabilizing functions. This study examined the effects of a fourteen-day bed rest on anticipatory postural adjustments and postural reflex responses of the abdominal wall and back muscles in sixteen adult men. Postural activation of trunk muscles was measured using voluntary quick arm movement and sudden arm loading paradigm. Measurements were conducted prior to the bed rest, immediately after, and fourteen days after the bed rest. Immediately after the bed rest, latencies of anticipatory postural adjustments showed significant shortening, especially for the obliquus internus and externus muscles. After a fourteen-day recuperation period, anticipatory postural adjustments reached a near to complete recovery. On the contrary, reactive response latencies increased from pre-bed-rest to both post-bed-rest measurement sessions. Results indicate an important effect of bed rest on stabilizing functions of the trunk muscles in elderly adults. Moreover, there proved to be a significant deterioration of postural reactive responses that outlasted the 14-day post-bed-rest rehabilitation.