Effects of five days of bed rest with and without exercise countermeasure on postural stability and gait
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
The Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
, p. 359-366
University of Antwerp
Objectives: We tested whether intermittent standing or a combination of heel raising, squatting and hopping exercises was sufficient to prevent alteration in balance and gait following a 5-day bed rest. Methods: This cross-over design study was performed with 10 male subjects during 6 degrees head down tilt: (a) with no countermeasure; (b) while standing 25 min per day; (c) during locomotion-like activities 25 min per day. Gait was evaluated by grading subjects' performance during various locomotion tasks. Equilibrium scores were derived from peak-to-peak anterior-posterior sway while standing on a foam pad with the eyes open or closed or while making pitch head movements. Results: When no countermeasure was used, head movements led to decreased postural stability and increased incidence of falls immediately after bed rest compared to before. When upright standing or locomotion- like exercises were used, postural stability and the incidence of falls were not significantly different after the bed rest from the baseline. Conclusion: These results indicate that daily 25-min of standing or locomotion-like exercise proves useful against postural instability following a 5-day bed rest. The efficacy of these countermeasures on locomotion could not be evaluated, however, because gait was not found to be altered after a 5-day bed rest.