The Effect of a 5-Week Wobble-Board Exercise Intervention on Ability to Discriminate Different Degrees of Ankle Inversion, Barefoot and Wearing Shoes: A Study in Healthy Elderly
Article first published online: 30 MAR 2004
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 52, Issue 4, pages 573–576, April 2004
How to Cite
Waddington, G. S. and Adams, R. D. (2004), The Effect of a 5-Week Wobble-Board Exercise Intervention on Ability to Discriminate Different Degrees of Ankle Inversion, Barefoot and Wearing Shoes: A Study in Healthy Elderly. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52: 573–576. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52164.x
- Issue published online: 30 MAR 2004
- Article first published online: 30 MAR 2004
- wobble-board exercise;
- fall prevention;
- ankle movement/inversion
Objectives: There is some evidence of an improvement in falls risk in the elderly after completing a wobble-board training program. This study examined the effects of wobble-board training on ability to discriminate between different extents of ankle inversion movements in a group of older subjects, tested wearing shoes and barefoot.
Design: A randomized, controlled, crossover pilot study.
Setting: Canberra region, Australia.
Participants: Twenty community-dwelling subjects aged 65 to 85 participated in this study; all were in good health with no known disorder of the musculoskeletal system.
Measurements: The accuracy with which subjects could identify a set of ankle inversion movements of different extents was measured, with testing conducted in an upright, weightbearing stance.
Intervention: The effects of a 5-week training program using a wobble board modified for data logging or a period of normal activity only were assessed. Subjects underwent an ankle movement discrimination test pre- and posttraining, with shoes on and off.
Results: Greater improvement in ankle movement discrimination capability was made in subjects who underwent wobble-board training than in subjects who did not train (F1,18=11.2, P=.003). Active movements at the ankle were also significantly better discriminated throughout when subjects were wearing shoes than when barefoot (F1,18=40.6, P=.001).
Conclusion: Training with a wobble board provides a simple in-home intervention that improves ability to differentiate between extent of movements into ankle inversion in subjects aged 65 and older. Research on trip and fall frequency after wobble-board use is needed before such training could be widely used.