Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 228, Issue 3, pp 341–351 | Cite as

Three components of postural control associated with pushing in symmetrical and asymmetrical stance

  • Yun-Ju Lee
  • Alexander S. Aruin
Research Article


A number of occupational and leisure activities that involve pushing are performed in symmetrical or asymmetrical stance. The goal of this study was to investigate early postural adjustments (EPAs), anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs), and compensatory postural adjustments (CPAs) during pushing performed while standing. Ten healthy volunteers stood in symmetrical stance (with feet parallel) or in asymmetrical stance (staggered stance with one foot forward) and were instructed to use both hands to push forward the handle of a pendulum attached to the ceiling. Bilateral EMG activity of the trunk and leg muscles and the center of pressure (COP) displacements in the anterior–posterior (AP) and medial–lateral (ML) directions were recorded and analyzed during the EPAs, APAs, and CPAs. The EMG activity and the COP displacement were different between the symmetrical and asymmetrical stance conditions. The COP displacements in the ML direction were significantly larger in staggered stance than in symmetrical stance. In staggered stance, the EPAs and APAs in the thigh muscles of the backward leg were significantly larger, and the CPAs were smaller than in the forward leg. There was no difference in the EMG activity of the trunk muscles between the stance conditions. The study outcome confirmed the existence of the three components of postural control (EPAs, APAs, and CPAs) in pushing. Moreover, standing asymmetrically was associated with asymmetrical patterns of EMG activity in the lower extremities reflecting the stance-related postural control during pushing. The study outcome provides a basis for studying postural control during other daily activities involving pushing.


Postural control Symmetrical and asymmetrical stance Pushing 



This work was supported in part by the NIDRR Grant No. H133P110004.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1. Department of Physical Therapy (MC 898)University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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