Normal subject postural sway during the Romberg test

Am J Otolaryngol. 1982 Sep-Oct;3(5):309-18. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0709(82)80002-1.


Analysis of fixed force platform recordings of Romberg tests performed by 132 normal subjects demonstrated no statistically significant sex or age effect for adults aged 20 through 49 years. There was a strong stabilizing influence of vision upon postural control in most, but not all, normal subjects. Comparison trials showed no statistically significant differences between trials for the standard Romberg eyes-open maneuver. However, a significant improvement was demonstrated for the second trial for all other Romberg maneuvers. Tests repeated over a period of five consecutive days yielded results with large variances within normal limits and no systematic individual or group trends. Normal percentiles and confidence intervals for the 95th percentile were calculated for use as a normal data base. These percentile distributions derived from a relatively large population of normal subjects provide a normal statistical base for comparison with postural sway from abnormal subjects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Ataxia / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement*
  • Postural Balance
  • Posture*
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Factors
  • Vision, Ocular