Duration of the project:
1.10.2021 – 30.9.2023
University of Primorska, Faculty of Health Sciences
Postural balance is often assessed by quantifying movement of the center of pressure (CoP) during quiet stance, using force plates. CoP movement reflects the body sway (BS), which in turn, reflects postural stability. Recently, a novel method for quantifying transient characteristics of BS has been proposed, wherein the data is divided into separate time intervals (e.g., 60-s trial may be separated into 10-s intervals). Our research group has already performed 4 experimental studies prior to this project, in order to provide preliminary evidence for potential utility of the transient characteristics of BS. The purpose of this project is to upgrade the knowledge regarding the assessment methods and clinical relevance of transient characteristics of BS. The first step of the project will involve a reliability study. The aim is to explore the effects of trial duration, interval duration and task on the reliability of the transient characteristics of BS. In the second part of the project, we will use the new approach to examine the differences among populations (male and female, young and older adults, athletes and non-athletes). In the final part of the project, we will examine a) acute effect of fatigue and b) long-term effect of balance training on transient characteristics of BS. In regard to the latter, a 4-week interventional study will be conducted. This way, the project will conclude with a study that will reveal if the transient characteristics of BS can be affected (improved) with exercise interventions. The measurements will be conducted in the Movement Performance Monitoring Laboratory at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The CoP movements will be recorded with Kistler force plates. The outcomes of the project, especially form the reliability study, will provide a foundation for further original research, as the transient characteristics of BS are vastly unexplored. We hope that the assessment of transient characteristics of body sway will find its place in clinical practice over the world.
The internal postdoctoral position is financed from the Rector’s UP Fund.