Time-of-Day Influences on Static and Dynamic Postural Control

Phillip A Gribble, W. Steven Tucker and  Paul A White

Assessment of postural control is used extensively in clinical and research applications. Time of day affects aspects of physical performance, but whether it also affects postural control is unknown.  The objective of this study was to determine the influence of time of day on static and dynamic postural control. Thirty healthy college-aged subjects had there static and dynamic postural control assessed in a laboratory at 10:00, 15:00, and 20:00 on 2 consecutive days.  Unilateral static postural control was assessed with eyes open and closed on a forceplate using center-of-pressure velocity in the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral planes as the dependent variables. Dynamic postural control was assessed with the anterior reaching direction of the Star Excursion Balance Test using reach distances normalized to leg length as the dependent variable.  The results showed that for static postural control, velocity scores in both directions were lower at 10:00 than at 15:00 and 20:00 and for dynamic postural control, normalized reach distance was greater at 10:00 than at 15:00 and 20:00.  The authors conclude that time of day had a consistent influence on dynamic postural control that suggests performance of this task may be better in the morning than in the afternoon or evening.

Journal of Athletic Training, 2007, 42(1), 35–41.

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