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Relationship between ankle plantar flexor force steadiness and postural stability on stable and unstable platforms

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European Journal of Applied Physiology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Purpose

This study was aimed at determining the relationship between ankle plantar flexor force steadiness and postural control during single leg standing on stable and unstable platforms.

Methods

For the thirty-three healthy participants, force steadiness, at target torques of 5%, 20%, and 50% of the maximum voluntary torque (MVT) of the ankle plantar flexors, was measured. Force steadiness was calculated as the coefficient of variation of force. Single leg standing on stable and unstable platforms was performed using the BIODEX Balance System SD. The standard deviation of the anteroposterior center of pressure (COP) displacements was measured as the index for postural control. During both measurements, muscle activities of the soleus were collected using surface electromyography.

Results

On the stable platform, the COP fluctuation significantly correlated with force steadiness at 5% of MVT (r = 0.512, p = 0.002). On the unstable platform, the COP fluctuation significantly correlated with force steadiness at 20% of MVT (r = 0.458, p = 0.007). However, the extent of muscle activity observed for a single leg standing on both stable and unstable platforms was significantly greater than the muscle activity observed while performing force steadiness tasks at 5% and 20% of MVT, respectively.

Conclusion

Postural stability during single leg standing on stable and unstable platforms may be related to one’s ability to maintain constant torque at 5% and 20% of MVT regardless of the muscle activity. These results suggest that the required abilities to control muscle force differ depending on the postural control tasks.

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Abbreviations

COP:

Center of pressure

CV:

Coefficient of variation

EMG:

Electromyography

MVC:

Maximum voluntary contraction

MVT:

Maximum voluntary torque

RMS:

Root mean square

References

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellows (19J14772).

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Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

All authors conceived and designed the research. TH conducted experiments. TH, MY, KM and JU analyzed data. TH wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tetsuya Hirono.

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Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to this article.

Research involving human participants

The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the ethics committee of the Kyoto University Graduate School and Faculty of Medicine (R0548-1).

Informed consent

The purpose and procedures were explained to the participants before they provided informed written consent to participate in the study.

Additional information

Communicated by Lori Ann Vallis.

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Hirono, T., Ikezoe, T., Taniguchi, M. et al. Relationship between ankle plantar flexor force steadiness and postural stability on stable and unstable platforms. Eur J Appl Physiol 120, 1075–1082 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04346-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04346-0

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