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Age–gender differences in the postural sway during squat and stand-up movement


Incidence of falling among elderly female has been reported to be much higher than that of elderly male. Although the gender differences in the elderly were reported for the static postural sway, there has been no investigation of the gender difference for the dynamic postural sway. This study investigates how age and gender affect the postural sway during dynamic squat and stand-up movement. 124 subjects (62 subjects for each of young and elderly) performed consecutive squat and stand-up movement, 2 times in one session, and 2 sessions per subject. Center of pressure (COP) was measured using force platform during the test. Outcome measures included peak-to-peak sways of the COP (COP sway) in the sagittal plane (anteroposterior) and frontal plane (mediolateral) and also those normalized by body height. Two-way ANOVA and post-hoc comparisons were performed for the outcome measures with the independent factors of age and gender. All outcome measures, excluding mediolateral COP sway, showed significant interaction of age and gender (p<0.05). Post-hoc test revealed that only female showed increase in COP sway with age. When normalized by height, increase in COP sways (both directions) with age significant only in women resulted in greater sways in elderly female than elderly male. This may be related to the greater fall rate of elderly female than that of elderly men while performing dynamic activities.