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Comparison of Postural Sway Using a Balance Platform and Mobile App

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AUTHORS: Nobuo Takeshima, Jeremy A. Patterson, FACSM, Ryan Z. Amick, Nicole L. Rogers, Kaelin C. Young, Michael E. Rogers, FACSM Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA

OBJECTIVE: Balance training has become common in therapeutic exercise routines for rehabilitation, injury prevention, and fall prevention. Unstable surfaces such as foam pads are commonly used in these purportedly to improve balance. While postural sway is often used as a measure of balance ability and to evaluate the efficacy of such programs to improve postural balance, there is little research regarding the measurement of sway while standing on foam pads. Purpose: To compare measures of postural sway from a clinical balance platform against a mobile application.

CONCLUSION: The mobile application is a valid and useful clinical tool for the evaluation of balance as results did not differ with the balance platform when measuring balance on the stable surface.
Given that postural sway did not differ between unilateral stance on firm versus foam surfaces with the balance platform, it appears that the balance platform does not effectively measure sway while standing on foam. Therefore, this mobile application may be a better tool for quantification of sway while standing on foam.