Analysis of the centre of pressure in bipedal stance among individuals with and without intellectual disabilities, individuals with Down syndrome and dancers with Down syndrome

J Intellect Disabil Res. 2024 May;68(5):524-536. doi: 10.1111/jir.13127. Epub 2024 Feb 13.


Background: Individuals with intellectual disabilities (IDs) often present deficiencies in motor, balance and postural control. On the other hand, the practice of physical activity and dance usually reduces these deficiencies. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to compare the control of the centre of pressure (COP) in people with Down syndrome (DS) or other causes of ID in relation to people without disabilities and to observe the influence of vision and the practice of dance.

Methods: This cross-sectional study analyses the COP in a static standing position with open and closed eyes in four study groups. A total of 273 people were recruited (80 adults without ID, 46 adults with DS, 120 adults with other causes of ID and 27 dancers with DS).

Results: A greater area of oscillation and path of the COP was observed in the participants with ID compared with the participants without ID, especially in the sway area of the COP. The oscillation speed of the COP was also higher. When analysing the displacement of the COP, anteroposterior and mediolateral components, there were also differences, except when comparing the group of dancers with DS with respect to the group without ID. The visual condition only influenced the group of participants without disabilities.

Conclusions: The results of our study show that there is a less efficient static postural control in people with ID, as greater displacements were observed in the COP of the participants with ID. The differences in some specific variables that analyse the displacement of the COP were smaller when comparing the group of dancers with DS and the individuals without ID.

Keywords: Down syndrome; dance; intellectual disability; pressure centre; static balance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dancing*
  • Down Syndrome*
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability*
  • Postural Balance