Date of Graduation

8-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Michelle Gray

Committee Member

Inza Fort

Second Committee Member

Matthew Ganio

Keywords

Balance, Falls, Older Adults, Power

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to observe the differences between power and balance in older adults over the age of 65 with and without falls. A total of 62 community dwelling older adults between the ages of 65 and 92 participated in the study. Two groups consisted of 25 fallers and 37 non-fallers. No statistical differences were found between groups on age, height, weight, or BMI. Testing included the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) to test balance, the Tendo Weightlifting Analyzer (TWA) during a sit-to-stand to test lower body power, and the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE) to assess physical activity. Results demonstrate the fallers had significantly lower balance (50.4 ± 6.2; p = .02) and average power (325.5 ± 114.3 watts; p = .01) when compared to the non-fallers (53.5 ± 3.1; p = .02, 420.6 ± 154.9 watts; p = .01). Physical activity was significantly correlated to balance (r = .33; p = .01). Lastly, power and balance were found to be significantly correlated (r = .43; p = .001). Overall, this study shows fallers have significantly lower power and balance compared to age matched non-fallers. The study also demonstrates balance and power, when measuring power in a way that is associated with activities of daily living, are strongly correlated.

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