Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the characteristics of postural sway for elderly adults.
Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the relationships among body sway, foot pressure, and risk of falls in older people.
Falls are the primary etiology of accidental deaths in older adults. Limited information is available about body sway and foot pressure in older people. This study aimed to examine the relationships among body sway, foot pressure, and risk of falls in older people.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in this study. The movement of the center of foot pressure was computed to evaluate body sway among community-dwelling older people. A foot pressure measurement system (RSscan ® system) was used to collect data of the center of force (COF). Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, Pearson product moment correlation, and analysis of variance using SPSS 19.0 for windows.
A total of 92 older people living in community participated in this study. The mean age was 73 years old. About 73% (n=67) was females. The majority of participants (88%; n=81) did not use a walking aid. Approximately 37% (n=34) of participants had experience of falls in the past year. Results showed the center of force was positively associated with the frequency of falls. The movement of anterior-posterior body sway was significantly greater than the movement of medial-lateral body sway.
The foot pressure was positively correlated with the frequency of falls. The movement of the center of foot pressure and body sway may play an important role in predicting risk of falls among older adults.