Proceedings of The Physiological Society

University College London December 2005 (2006) Proc Physiol Soc 1, PC20

Poster Communications

A comparison between young and older human subjects of movements of the body and of the centre of pressure during quiet standing

Birtles, Dierdre B; Bruce, Stuart A; Woledge, Roger C;

1. Institute of Human Performance, UCL, London, United Kingdom. 2. Centre for Applied Biomedical Research, Kings College, London, United Kingdom. 3. Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Conquest Hospital, Hastings, United Kingdom.


  • Figure 1. Comparison of averaged movements of young (continuous line) and older (broken line) subjects. The example shown is for movements in the ML plane with eyes open.

Measurements were made of movements of the centre of pressure (COP) and of 14 body markers during periods of standing with eyes open or closed in two groups: young (mean age 29 years) and older (mean age 72 years). The measurements were used to assess whether an inverted pendulum model, with movement only at the ankles, adequately described the observations, and also whether the amplitudes and the nature of the movements differed between groups. The older group showed significantly increased medio-lateral movements of the COP compared to the young(root mean square amplitude in mdeg: 200

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements