, Volume 113, Issue 5, pp 1303-1309
Date: 25 Nov 2012

Effects of exercise-induced fatigue on postural balance: a comparison of treadmill versus cycle fatiguing protocols

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The authors of this study examined the effects of muscle fatigue on balance indices and recovery time in recreationally trained individuals after incremental tests on a treadmill and a cycle ergometer. Sixteen participants (male N = 11, female N = 5) (mean age = 21.2 ± 2 years) completed this study. Balance measures were performed on a Biodex Balance System via the Dynamic Balance Test. Balance was measured pre-exercise, immediately post-exercise, and at 3-, 6-, 9-, 12-, 15-, 18-, and 21-min post-exercise. Immediately following the fatiguing treadmill test, balance increased significantly in the overall stability index (SI) (from 4.38 ± 2.48 to 6.09 ± 1.80) and the anterior/posterior index (API) (from 3.49 ± 2.18 to 5.28 ± 1.81) (p < 0.01). Immediately following the fatiguing cycle test, balance was not altered significantly in SI or API. Balance was not altered significantly for the medial/lateral index for either exercise test at any time point. Additionally, there were no significant differences in time to recovery. At 12-min post-exercise, all indices were below pre-exercise values, indicating that fatiguing exercise has a positive effect on balance over time. These results are consistent with previous research, suggesting that any effects of fatigue on balance are seen immediately and are diminished as time after exercise increases.

Communicated by Fausto Baldissera.
All research was conducted at the Western Kentucky University Exercise Physiology Laboratory.