In the examination of postural control, instructions to stand as still as possible are common and promote a relatively unnatural sway pattern. The validity of the stability requirement is discussed in the present commentary in response to the discussion initiated by Cedrick T. Bonnet. The advantages of using the stability requirement include: evaluating unbiased postural control, reducing variability in postural sway, manipulating focus of attention, examining the ability to maintain an upright stance, and ecological validity of testing. The disadvantages include: constraining natural postural sway, increasing the complexity of the control condition, promoting an internal focus of attention, and reducing the ability to detect exploratory behaviour. After evaluating the aforementioned advantages and disadvantages, the present commentary suggests that researchers should strive to provide specific instructions to maintain feet, arm and eye position without specifically requiring participants to reduce their postural sway.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine