Effects of the Aquatic Environment on the Control of Upright Stance: A Pilot Study. A Marinho, A.Barela, M.Celestino, M Camargo, M Popovic, M Verrier. Abstract 13 at UHN Current Concepts Conference, Jan 25, 2013.
Seven healthy female volunteers, age range 22 to 54 years, stood in the water on a force plate to measure postural sway 10 times for 30 seconds and did the same on land. They crossed their arms and completed the trial with eyes open and eyes closed, instructed to stand still and not move their feet. Postural sway was measured front to back, side to side,
speed of movement and the area of the sway/movement. When in the water the participants
off-loaded their body mass from 55% to 69%.
RESULTS: The participants sway was higher in the water. The eyes closed resulted in
a increase in front-to-back movement only.
CONCLUSION: The aquatic environment can challenge postural sway differently from
on land and is a viable therapeutic environment to work effectively on upright stance control.
This supports what we know.... it is hard to stay vertical and on two feet in the water!