Beneficial effect of proprioceptive physical activities on balance control in elderly human subjects

Neurosci Lett. 1999 Oct 1;273(2):81-4. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3940(99)00615-1.


Age and lack of physical activities may both be responsible for poor balance control. Conversely, physical activities may modulate postural control in elderly individuals. We examined which type of exercise might prove most beneficial to retain or regain proper balance. Nineteen healthy subjects, aged over 60, regularly practicing proprioceptive (group I) or bioenergetic (group II) physical activities and 21 controls only walking on a regular basis, were studied. All were submitted to a dynamic posturographic test and to a test evaluating lower limbs muscular strength. Control individuals displayed the poorest balance and muscular performance. Group I subjects had the best postural control with average muscular strength. In group II, muscular strength was significantly increased, but balance control was of poor quality. Proprioceptive exercise therefore appears to have the best impact on balance control.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Sports
  • Walking / physiology
  • Yoga