Reliability of COP-based postural sway measures and age-related differences

Gait Posture. 2008 Aug;28(2):337-42. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2008.01.005. Epub 2008 Mar 7.


The objectives of this study were to assess the within-day and between-day reliability of several center of pressure (COP)-based measures of postural sway and identify whether there were age-related differences in reliability. Thirty-two healthy individuals (16 younger and 16 older) participated. COP was recorded during quiet upright stance on 4 different days, and a variety of measures determined: mean velocity, median power frequency, RMS distance, sway area, and two fractal measures derived from Hurst rescaled range analysis (HR/S) and detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and standard error of measurement (SEM) were used to quantify reliability. Mean velocity was the most reliable measure. DFA exponents had relatively better reliability than HR/S exponents. In general, within-day reliability was better than between-day. In comparison with younger participants, older participants exhibited better relative reliability (ICC) for all COP measures and comparable absolute reliability (SEM) except for mean velocity and sway area. These results may be useful in guiding the future selection and interpretation of COP-based measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Young Adult