Correlation between Berg Balance Scale rating and triceps surae strength in an elderly population

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Hill, Shelli
Scott, Stevie
Swanson, Brenda
Bahner, Candace

Hill, Shelli, Scott, Stevie, Swanson, Brenda, Bahner, Candace (2008). Correlation between Berg Balance Scale rating and triceps surae strength in an elderly population. In Proceedings: 4th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p.109-110


Nearly one-third of all people over the age of 65 will suffer a fall each year; of those who do fall, one-third will suffer a moderate to severe injury limiting their independence. Currently, people over the age of 65 make up 12% of the population; by 2030 this number is expected to increase to 17%. The purpose of the study was to determine if a statistically significant correlation between the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) rating and triceps surae strength as measured with a hand held dynamometer in an elderly population existed. Subjects: Thirty-four self-perceived healthy independent ambulators residing at a local retirement community age 64-90 years. Methods: Upon receiving consent, subjects completed a health questionnaire and a two minute warm up walk. Triceps surae strength was then measured three times on each leg using a hand held dynamometer. Subjects’ balance was then measured using the BBS. Results: Using the Pearson correlation coefficient, a significant direct relationship was found between triceps surae strength and BBS rating. Discussion and Conclusion: These findings indicate that triceps surae strength may play an important role in balance. By developing strengthening programs for the elderly population that include the triceps surae muscle, the risk of falls may be decreased.

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Third Place winner of non-oral presentations at the 4th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, April 25, 2008.
Research completed at the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Professions