Article Title



Ryan M. Thiele, Eric C. Conchola, Ty B. Palmer & Doug B. Smith

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma

Previous researchers have examined postural stability performance through the use of static and dynamic balance assessments. Although static postural stability assessments have been shown to be useful for clinical decision-making, dynamic modes of balance may provide a more sensitive and functionally-relevant, sport-related assessment tool for examining postural stability performance in highly trained individuals. However, it is unknown whether these assessments are influenced by gender. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare static and dynamic postural stability between college-aged males and females. METHODS: Fifteen males (mean ± SD: age = 23.5 ± 2.5 yr; height = 176.7 ± 7.4 cm; mass = 87.3 ± 9.5 kg) and 14 females (age = 22.1 ± 1.9 yr; height = 163.6 ± 9.1 cm; mass = 63.1 ± 5.5 kg), who were all anaerobically trained (resistance training ≥4 days·wk-1 for 2 years), performed static and dynamic postural stability assessments on a commercially designed balance testing unit. Experimental trials were randomized in order and assessed static bilateral assessments for sway index (SI) and dynamic unilateral assessments for overall stability index (OSI), anterior/posterior index (API) and medial/lateral index (MLI) scores. Static balance assessments consisted of 4, 20-s static stance conditions: eyes-open firm surface (EOFS), eyes-closed firm surface (ECFS), eyes-open soft surface (EOSS) and eyes-closed soft surface (ECSS). Dynamic balance assessments consisted of 3, 20-s dynamic balance conditions on each leg in which the platform was allowed to move freely at a spring resistance of 4. Spring resistance levels range between 1 (least stable) and 13 (most stable). All participants reported being right limb dominant. RESULTS: The OSI, API and MLI scores were higher for males (P=0.005-0.012) than females for the dominant limb; additionally, API scores were higher for males (P=0.037) on the contralateral limb compared to the females. No gender differences were observed during the static balance tests for SI, nor between limbs during the dynamic assessments for OSI, API, or MLI (P>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These findings revealed lower stability scores for females and thereby, greater balance performance compared to males during dynamic balance tests for both dominant and contralateral limbs. However, no stability differences were observed between genders during static tests or between limbs for either males or females on dynamic assessments. These findings suggest dynamic stability assessments may be a more effective discriminator than static assessments of balance-related performances between anaerobically trained males and females.

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