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Changes in posture and balance with age


Changes in posture with age are of concern because of their association with impaired mobility and the possibility of falls. In this study alignment of the joint centers and balance of body segments were measured in 41 women, aged 65 and older, and correlated with weight, age, change in height, and activity. Balance was assessed by calculating the whole-body center of gravity, and the partialcenters of gravity above the knee and hip. Compared to a younger reference population, the older subjects had greater kyphosis, a more posterior hip position, and leaned forward more from the hips (more anterior center of gravity above the hips). Among the 41 elderly subjects, larger kyphoses correlated with greater decrease in height. Elderly subjects who were inactive tended to lean more, but forward lean was not correlated to other variables. These findings suggest two separate sets of changes: an osteoporosis-related stooping, and also a forward lean that may relate to muscular weakness or to fear of instability. Posture among the elderly was quite varied and did not follow any one pattern of change. (Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 4: 219–225, 1992)

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Woodhull-McNeal, A.P. Changes in posture and balance with age. Aging Clin Exp Res 4, 219–225 (1992).

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  • Aging
  • balance
  • posture