Longitudinal study evaluating postural balance of young athletes

Nili Steinberg*, Dan Nemet, Michal Pantanowitz, Aviva Zeev, Monder Hallumi, Mahmood Sindiani, Yoav Meckel, Alon Eliakim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Repeated anaerobic conditions during athletic performance may cause general and local fatigue that result in postural balance deficit. Evidence suggests that improved postural balance during athletic training may decrease the risk for fallings and traumatic injuries among athletes. Twenty athletes (12 girls, 8 boys) and 20 controls (12 girls, 8 boys) ages 10-15 years participated in the current study. All athletes were active in an 8-month physical activity program, 3 times per week for 90 min., specific to basketball, soccer, or athletic training. The control children participated in physical education at school only, with no involvement in organized extracurricular sports. All participants were evaluated for postural balance in three assessments over one year (at 4-mo intervals); the Interactive Balance System machine (Tetrax device) was used to assess balance at three test times (pre-, post-, and 10 min) after a session of a repeated sprint anaerobic test, consisting of 12_20m run starting every 20 sec. The athletes had better postural balance than controls. There were different group patterns of change over the sessions; a significant interaction of session and group indicated that postural balance of the groups differed. The contribution of low sway frequencies (F1) and high sway frequencies (F6) differed between the controls and the athletes group. Results suggested that although athletes had better postural balance, improvement should be encouraged during training over the sessions and seasons, with special awareness of the balance deficit that occurs immediately after anaerobic stress and at the end of the season, to decrease the risk of injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-279
Number of pages24
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2016


  • Anaerobic fatigue
  • Postural balance
  • Posturography
  • Repeated sprint test
  • Young athletes


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