Electromyographic reaction time in older female fallers and non-fallers after postural perturbation

Ligia Cristiane Santos Fonseca, Aline Harumi Karuka, Luciano Fernandes Crozara, Deborah Hebling Spinoso, Camila Zamfolini Hallal, Nise Marques, Mauro Gonçalves, Marcos Eduardo Scheicher


The electromyographic reaction time (ERT) reflects the magnitude and speed with which muscles are activated to perform movements, to prevent injuries, or to position a joint. This parameter can be used to analyze postural control performance after an external perturbation and can be correlated with the possibility of falls in older adults. The objective of this study was to determine the ERT of the internal oblique, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, tibialis anterior, multifidus, gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and lateral gastrocnemius muscles to balance threats in older adults with and without a history of falls. Twenty-nine physically active and noninstitutionalized women aged 60 years or older were divided into two groups: fallers (n=13; 72.4 ± 8.0 years) and nonfallers (n=16; 67.8 ± 6.8 years). The ERT of the muscles tested did not differ significantly between groups following forward or backward perturbations. The results suggest that the activation of the muscles tested in response to forward or backward perturbations is not a determinant factor of falls.


Aging, Electromyography, Postural balance

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/1980-0037.2014v16n3p298

The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.