The relationship of plantar flexor strength to functional balance in older adults

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Droegemeier, Amber N.
Ensz, Kirsten A.
Hildebrand, Danielle M.
Moore, Kelly S.

Droegemeier, Amber N., Ensz, Kirsten A., M. Hildebr, Danielle and Kelly S. Moore(2009) . Title . In Proceedings: 5th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 90-91


The incidence of falls in older adults increases with a decline in lower extremity strength, functional balance, and multi-tasking while walking. This study examined the relationship between plantar flexor muscle strength and balance as it is used in everyday tasks. The participants were thirty-eight adults age 65 or older residing in an independent living community. Participants' plantar flexor strength was measured using a Hand-Held Dynamometer followed by performance of the Timed Upand-Go (TUG) test under three different conditions. The relationship between strength and TUG scores was explored. No significant relationship was found, therefore, plantar flexors were not found to be the most important muscle group in the lower extremities to reduce fall risk.

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Paper presented to the 5th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, May 1, 2009.
Research completed at Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions