Effect of Sitting Pause Times on Balance After Supine to Standing Transfer in Dim Light

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Abstract

Background and Purpose:

The risk of falling for older adults increases in dimly lit environments. Longer sitting pause times, before getting out of bed and standing during the night, may improve postural stability. The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of sitting pause times on postural sway velocity immediately after a supine to standing transfer in a dimly lit room in older adult women.

Methods:

Eighteen healthy women aged 65 to 75 years who were able to independently perform supine to standing transfers participated in the study. On each of 2 consecutive days, participants assumed the supine position on a mat table and closed their eyes for 45 minutes. Then, participants were instructed to open their eyes and transfer from supine to sitting, with either 2- or 30-second pause in the sitting position followed by standing. The sitting pause time order was randomized.

Results:

A significant difference was observed in postural sway velocity between the 2- and 30-second sitting pause times. The results revealed that there was less postural sway velocity after 30-second than 2-second sitting pause time (0.61 ± 0.19 vs 1.22 ± 0.68, P < .001).

Discussion:

Falls related to bathroom usage at night are the most common reported falls among older adults. In the present study, the investigators studied the effect of sitting pause times on postural sway velocity after changing position from supine to standing in a dimly lit environment. The findings showed that the mean postural sway velocity was significantly less after 30-second sitting pause time compared with 2-second sitting pause time.

Conclusions:

Postural sway velocity decreased when participants performed a sitting pause of 30 seconds before standing in a dimly lit environment. These results suggest that longer sitting pause times may improve adaptability to dimly lit environments, contributing to improved postural stability and reduced risk of fall in older adult women when getting out of bed at night.

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