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  • Author: Jerica Licen x
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Few, if any, studies have reported the effects of intensity of balance exercise for balance training and rehabilitation. The aim of the present study was to find a relative measure of intensity of balance exercise. On this basis, we analysed ankle muscle activation in the sagittal plane with increasing difficulty for a one leg stance on a T-board. Ten adults (7 men, 24.1 ± 3.5 years; 3 women, 30.6 ± 5.8 years) performed 3 trials on a T-board within 6 randomly assigned stability levels. T-board swaying velocities in the sagittal plane were manipulated to attain different stability levels (conditions). Concurrently, angular distance of the T-board and active balance time (i.e., percentage of a total time balancing) under each condition were measured. Surface electromyography from the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius and soleus were monitored during one leg stance. The surface electromyography amplitude in the time domain was quantified using the root-mean-square values. Significant effect of stability levels on angular distance (F5,45 = 3.4; p = 0.01) and velocity of the T-board (F5,45 = 4.6; p = 0.002) were obtained. Active balance time decreased by ∼15% (p = 0.001) from the maximal to the minimal stability conditions. The graded level of balance board stability conditions did not generate significantly higher root-mean-square values in any muscles and hence could not be used as a relative measure of intensity of balance exercise. These findings imply that there could be a plateau in difficulty of balance exercise for enhancement of ankle muscle activity.