Postural Stability Assessment of University Marching Musicians Using Force Platform Measures

Med Probl Perform Art. 2016 Sep;31(3):174-8. doi: 10.21091/mppa.2016.3031.


Lower extremity injury is prevalent in marching musicians, and poor postural stability is a possible risk factor for this. The external load of an instrument may predispose these performers to injury by decreasing postural stability. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between instrument load and static and dynamic postural stability in this population. Fourteen university marching musicians were recruited and completed a balance assessment protocol on a force platform with and without their instrument. Mean center of pressure (CoP) displacement was then calculated for each exercise in the anterior/posterior and medial/lateral planes. Mean anterior/posterior CoP displacement significantly increased in the instrument condition for the static surface, eyes closed, 2 feet condition (p≤0.005; d=0.89). No significant differences were found in the medial/lateral plane between non-instrument and instrument conditions. Significant differences were not found between test stance conditions independent of group. Comparisons between the non-instrument-loaded and instrument-loaded conditions revealed possible significance of instrument load on postural stability in the anterior/posterior plane. Mean differences indicated that an unstable surface created a greater destabilizing effect on postural stability than instrument load.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Students
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology
  • Young Adult