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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

First Advisor

John Medeiros, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Ann Williams, PhD, PT


This study examined the effects of age and activity level on postural sway of men and women aged 40 to 84 years. Balance testing was carried out using the Chattecx Balance System, a computerized footplate system. Each subject was assessed on six different 25 second balance tests. The tests were: standing with eyes open and eyes closed on a stable surface, standing with eyes open and eyes closed on a platform that was moving, and standing with eyes open and eyes closed on dense compliant foam. A two by five analysis of variance was performed using the postural sway data, and a significant increase in postural sway was found among age groups as individuals got older. A significant difference was found among those who took part in regular activity in all tests, except eyes closed with the platform moving. An interaction between age and activity level was found when tests were run on eyes closed, eyes open and tilting, and eyes closed and tilting. Active people had significantly less postural sway than age matched subjects age sixty and greater.


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