Investigating Human Balance and Postural Control During Bilateral Stance on BOSU Balance Trainer
Alpha Agape Gopalai
Balance and postural control are essential for performing activities of daily living to minimize risks of fall and injury. A proven way to improve postural stability and the perception of the somatosensory system is to utilize devices such as the BOSU balance trainer, wobble board and seesaw platform. It was reported that performing unilateral stance on BOSU could stimulate and eventually improve human neuromuscular system in maintaining body balance. However, this posture is challenging and may not be suitable for individuals with sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, this study investigates the ability of human postural control while performing bilateral stance on BOSU. Increase in center of pressure measures e.g. sway area, sway velocity, and the range of excursion in both anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions were observed when subjects stood on BOSU, as compared to when they stood on the flat ground (p < 0.01). This study also found that vision played an important role in challenging environment. Significant differences were found when subjects were standing on BOSU with eyes closed and eyes open (p < 0.01). Hence, it can be deduced that bilateral stance on BOSU can stimulate neuromuscular system to coordinate the lower extremity in order to mitigate the instability and to reduce the risk of fall. Individuals with sedentary lifestyle or impaired balance, or patients who are recovering from minor ankle or knee injury can perform bilateral stance on BOSU, instead of unilateral stance to improve their balance and postural control.