Daily Outdoor Cycling by Older Adults Preserves Reactive Balance Behavior: A Case-Control Study

Shani Batcir, Itshak Melzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We examined whether older adults who cycle outdoors regularly have better reactive balance control than noncycling older adults. Sixteen cyclist older adults and 24 age-, sex-, and health-matched controls who did not cycle (noncyclists) were exposed to unannounced perturbations of increased magnitudes in standing. We evaluated the strategies and kinematics employed at each perturbation magnitude. We found that cyclists exhibited a significantly higher stepping threshold, lower probability of stepping at each perturbation magnitude, and lower number of trials in which the participant needed to make a step to retain their balance. Cyclists also tended to recover balance using unloaded leg strategies in the first recovery step rather than a loaded leg strategy; they showed faster swing phase duration in the first recovery step, better controlling the displacement of center of mass than noncyclists. Older adults who cycle regularly outdoors preserve their reactive balance functions, which may reduce fall risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 13 May 2022

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