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Does Past Experience Effect Balance in Older Women: a Cross-Sectional Study Comparing Retired Dancers and Age- Matched Controls?


Falls are increasing prevalent in the elderly but little data has been reported on the effect of previous life experience on balance ability. The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to determine whether participants with historically highly developed postural control (retired dancers) provided protection after activity had stopped by comparing their balance abilities with age-matched sedentary counterparts. Ten retired dancers [RD] 65 ± 7.36yrs and 10 sedentary controls[C] 66 ± 5.66yrs carried out a series of balance tests in a laboratory setting in a set order: Romberg, Functional Reach, Timed Up and Go, Berg and Tinetti. The RD group performed significantly better solely in the static balance tests (Romberg and Berg Balance) (p < 0.05). Therefore, past exercise history of the individual possibly needs to be considered when selecting a balance test battery with a need to use tests that have multiple constructs of balance. The RD group performed significantly better at static balance tests suggesting a possible skill retention from their dance careers.

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Correspondence to Matthew A. Wyon.

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Wyon, M.A., Reeve, E., Ambegaonkar, J. et al. Does Past Experience Effect Balance in Older Women: a Cross-Sectional Study Comparing Retired Dancers and Age- Matched Controls?. Ageing Int 47, 160–168 (2022).

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  • Postural balance
  • Elderly
  • Dance
  • Female