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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 160490, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/160490
Research Article

Rapid Assessment of Age-Related Differences in Standing Balance

1Department of Neurology, BG-Kliniken Bergmannsheil, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44789 Bochum, Germany
2Neural Plasticity Lab, Institute for Neuroinformatics, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany
3Autonomous Robotics Group, Institute for Neuroinformatics, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany

Received 6 December 2010; Revised 22 February 2011; Accepted 12 March 2011

Academic Editor: Heather Keller

Copyright © 2011 Tobias Kalisch et al. 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.

Abstract

As life expectancy continues to rise, in the future there will be an increasing number of older people prone to falling. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for comprehensive testing of older individuals to collect data and to identify possible risk factors for falling. Here we use a low-cost force platform to rapidly assess deficits in balance under various conditions. We tested 21 healthy older adults and 24 young adults during static stance, unidirectional and rotational displacement of their centre of pressure (COP). We found an age-related increase in postural sway during quiet standing and a reduction of maximal COP displacement in unidirectional and rotational displacement tests. Our data show that even low-cost computerized assessment tools allow for the comprehensive testing of balance performance in older subjects.