Evaluating the effects of open/closed eyes and age-related differences on center of foot pressure sway during stepping at a set tempo


This study aimed to examine the effects of open/ closed eyes and age difference on Center of Foot Pressure (COP) sway during stepping. The subjects were 87 healthy males aged 10 - 80 years. COP was measured 20 times when subjects stepped on two force plates (left and right) at a rate of 60 steps/min. The evaluation parameters selected were: total trace length, velocity, circumference, rectangular area,left-right width, and front-back width. The former four of these parameters were found to be significantly lower with eyes open than eyes closed in 80-year-old subjects, while the last parameter was significantly lower with eyes open in 10-year-old subjects. In 70- and 80-year-old subjects with eyes open, circumference was greater than that in 10- and 40 - 60-year-old subjects; their rectangular area was greater than that in 50- and 60-year-old subjects; and, their front-back width was greater than that in 10- and 30 - 60-year-old subjects. With eyes closed, circumference, rectangular area, left-right width, and front-back width in 80-year- old subjects, were greater than those in 10 - 70- year-old subjects. The front-back width during stepping with eyes closed was greater in 70- and 80-year-old subjects than in 30 - 50-year-old subjects. The Romberg quotient for all COP sway parameters revealed no significant age-related differences. From our findings, a difference in body sway was observed in 80-year-old subjects (with eyes open/closed) when compared with the other age groups. In addition, the extent of sway varied little among <60-year-old subjects. However, COP sway was greater with eyes open in 70- and 80-year-old subjects compared with <60- year-old subjects, and greater with eyes closed in 80-year-old subjects compared with <70- year-old subjects. In conclusion, >80 year-old- subjects have greater body sway during stepping, particularly with eyes closed.

Share and Cite:

Aoki, H. , Demura, S. , Kawabata, H. , Sugiura, H. , Uchida, Y. , Xu, N. and Murase, H. (2012) Evaluating the effects of open/closed eyes and age-related differences on center of foot pressure sway during stepping at a set tempo. Advances in Aging Research, 1, 72-77. doi: 10.4236/aar.2012.13009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Demura, S., Kitabayashi, T., Kimura, A. and Matsuzawa, J. (2005) Body sway characteristics during static upright posture in healthy and disordered elderly. Journal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science, 24, 551-555. doi:10.2114/jpa.24.551
[2] Demura, S., Kitabayashi, T. and Noda, M. (2006) Selection of useful parameters to evaluate center-of-foot pressure movement. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 103, 959-973. doi:10.2466/pms.103.3.959-973
[3] Noda, M., Demura, S., Kitabayashi, T. and Imaoka, K. (2005) Examination of quantitative and fractal analysis of sway characteristics of the center of foot pressure movement during a static upright posture. Analysis Based on Alcohol Intake, 45, 229-237.
[4] Demura, S., Kitabayashi, T. and Noda, M. (2008) Power spectrum characteristics of sway position and velocity of the center of pressure during static upright posture for healthy people. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 106, 307-316. doi:10.2466/pms.106.1.307-316
[5] Demura, S., Kitabayashi, T., Noda, M. and Aoki, H. (2008) Age-stage differences in body sway during a static upright posture based on sway factors and relative accumulation of power frequency. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 107, 89-98. doi:10.2466/pms.107.1.89-98
[6] Fujiwara, K., Ikegami, H., Okada, M. and Koyama, Y. (1982) Contribution of age and muscle strength of lower limbs to steadiness and stability in standing posture. The Journal of Anthropological Society of Nippon, 90, 385- 399. doi:10.1537/ase1911.90.385
[7] Ohnishi, A., Togo, F. and Ishimatu, K. (2010) Influence of age, falls, and step length on the postural sway during rapid stepping. Dynamics & Design Conference, 10, 621- 625.
[8] Shin, S. and Demura S. (2010) The relationship between the stipulated tempo step test, daily activity ability and gait time in elderly. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 51, 333-337. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2010.01.014
[9] Paulus, W., Straube, A. and Brandt, T. (1984) Visual sta- bilization of posture. Physiological stimulus characteris- tics and clinical aspects. Brain, 107, 1143-1163. doi:10.1093/brain/107.4.1143
[10] Mizukoshi, K., Watanabe, Y., Nakagawa, H., Asai, M., Ohashi, N. and Shojaku, H. (1993) Age dependent change of postural control with special reference to visual and proprioceptive influences. Otologia Fukuoka, 39, 745- 749.
[11] Masani, K., Vette, A.H., Kouzaki, M., Kanehisa, H., Fukunaga, T. and Popovic, M.R.(2007) Larger center of pressure minus center of gravity in the elderly induces larger body acceleration during quiet standing. Neuroscience Letters, 422, 202-206. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2007.06.019
[12] Brenton-Rule, A., Bassett, S., Walsh, A. and Rome, K. (2011) The evaluation of walking footwear on postural stability in healthy older adults: an exploratory study. Clinical Biomechanics, 26, 885-887. doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2011.03.012
[13] Duncan, P.W., Weiner, D.K., Chandler, J. and Studenski, S. (1990) Functional reach: A new clinical measure of balance. The Journals of Gerontology, 45, 192-197.
[14] Himann, J.E., Cunningham, D.A., Rechnitzer, P.A. and Paterson, D.H. (1988) Age-related changes in speed of walking. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 20, 161-166. doi:10.1249/00005768-198820020-00010
[15] Cornilleau-Pérès, V., Shabana, N., Droulez, J., Goh, J.C., Lee, G.S. and Chew, P.T. (2005) Measurement of the visual contribution to postural steadiness from the COP movement: Methodology and reliability. Gait Posture, 22, 96-106. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.07.009
[16] Shin, S. and Demura, S. (2007) Effective tempo of the step test for dynamic balance ability in the elderly. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 26, 563-567. doi:10.2114/jpa2.26.563
[17] Lin, S.I. and Woollacott, M. (2005) Association between sensorimotor function and functional and reactive balance control in the elderly. Age Ageing, 34, 358-363. doi:10.1093/ageing/afi089
[18] Frontera, W.R., Hughes, V.A., Fielding, R.A., Fiatarone, M.A., Evans, W.J. and Roubenoff, R. (2000) Aging of skeletal muscle: A 12-year longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Physiology, 88, 1321-1326.
[19] Larsson, L., Grimby, G. and Karlsson, J. (1979) Muscle strength and speed of movement in relation to age and muscle morphology. Journal of Applied Physiology, 46, 451-456.
[20] Rogers, M.W. and Mille, M.L. (2003) Lateral stability and falls in older people. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 31, 182-187. doi:10.1097/00003677-200310000-00005
[21] Wu, G. (1998) The relation between age-related changes in neuromusculoskeletal system and dynamic postural responses to balance disturbance. The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 53, 320-326. doi:10.1093/gerona/53A.4.M320
[22] Ikai, T., Kamikubo, T., Takehara, I., Nishi, M. and Miyano, S. (1998) Dynamic postural control in middle-aged and elderly people. The Japanese Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 39, 311-316. doi:10.2490/jjrm1963.39.311

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.