Rehabilitation Research and Practice / 2013 / Article / Tab 1

Research Article

Normative Data for the Balance Error Scoring System in Adults

Table 1

Normative reference values for the BESS stratified by age.

Age MeanMedianSDSuperiorAbove averageBroadly normalBelow averagePoorVery poor

20–296511.311.04.80–56-78–1415–1718–2324+
30–3917311.511.05.50–45–78–1516–1819–2627+
40–4935212.511.56.20–56–89–1617–2021–2829+
50–5422414.212.07.50–67-89–1819–2425–3334+
55–5919716.515.07.60–78–1011–2021–2829–3536+
60–6414818.016.57.80–89–1213–2223–2829–4041+
65-697719.918.07.10–1213–1516–2425–3233–3839+
Men
20–2926*10.410.04.40–45-67–141516–2122+
30–399711.511.05.50–45-67–1516–1819–2627+
40–4921212.412.05.70–56-78–1617–2021–2728+
50–5414213.612.06.90–678–1718–2324–2829+
55–5911716.415.07.20–78–1011–2021–2829–3435+
60–648917.216.07.10–89–1112–2122–2728–3536+
65–695620.018.07.30–1213-1415–2324–3334–3940+
Women
20–2939*11.911.05.10–56-78–1415–1920–2526+
30–397611.410.55.60–45-67–1516–1920–2728+
40–4914012.711.06.90–56-78–1516–2021–2930+
50–548215.113.08.20–78-910–2021–2425–3536+
55–598016.715.08.20–89-1011–2122–2829–3940+
60–645919.317.08.80–910–1213–2223–3132–4344+
65–6921*19.918.06.60–131415–2425–2728–3839+
Women: BMI ≥ 30
20–4927*17.316.06.50–89–1213–2223–2728–3334+
50–6432*21.620.08.40–1112–1415–2728–3233–4142+

*Unusually small sample sizes limit the usefulness of these normative reference values. The maximum score for each trial was truncated at 10 points. BMI: body mass index. Body mass had a greater effect on balance performance in women than in men. Superior scores occur in fewer than 10% of the sample. Above average scores occur in approximately 15%, broadly normal scores occur in approximately 50%, below average scores occur in approximately 15%, poor scores occur in approximately 8%, and very poor scores occur in fewer than 2%. These classification ranges correspond to the following percentile ranks: Very poor < 2nd percentile; poor = 2nd–9th percentile; below average = 10th–24th percentile; broadly normal = 25th–75th percentile; above average = 76th–90th percentile; superior > 90th percentile.