Document Type : Research Paper
Ph.D. Student at Tehran University, Kish International Campus, Kish Island, Iran
Associate Professor of Motor Behavior, Islamic Azad University of Khorasgan Branch, Isfahan, Iran
Associate Professor of Motor Behavior, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
Previous studies have shown that postural stability can be enhanced by directing performers’ attention to the effects of their movements (external focus), rather than to the body movements producing the effect (internal focus). We examined whether the balance training and the attentional focus adopted on postural and supra-postural tasks have to influence postural control. Twenty elderly men (59.27 ± 5.77 years) selected randomly and participated in a single group pretest-posttest protocol. Balance training protocol consisted of 16 sessions of manipulated Romberg test for 30 min. Pretest and posttest components of the center of pressure, central-peripheral, and anterior-posterior displacement of participants’ balance were assessed by the Biodex Stability System (BSS) in postural and supra-postural tasks and also in 2 conditions of internal and external focus. The postural task included standing on the BSS in normal condition and the supra-postural task was standing on the BSS by holding a glass full of water. The attention manipulated by a focus on a point outside the body, and focus on decreasing the sway of the body during performing the tasks. Repeated measures of ANOVA with post-hoc Bonferroni test used at a p-value less than 0.05 and using by SPSS software (v. 22®). The present results showed the positive effects of balance training on all the components of postural control. Also, the findings indicated that external focus of attention in comparison with internal focus leads to a decrease in postural sway in all three components of postural control. This study suggests that the application of automatic control processes can be facilitated by simply directing performers’ attention away from their own body movements.
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