Investigating the effects of alternative footwear on balance

May, David S. (2015) Investigating the effects of alternative footwear on balance. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of John Garner from Exercise Science, The University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries and unintentional deaths in the United States, with 27,800 fatalities attributed to falls in 2012 (National Safety Council, 2014). With two thirds of our body mass located two thirds of our body height above the ground, humans require constant work from balance control systems to prevent these falls (Winter, 1995). Because shoes can alter somatosensory input from the mechanoreceptors on the bottom of the foot and affect these balance control systems (Menant et al, 2008), they must be taken into account when looking into the causes of falls. Traditional footwear designs have been studied extensively to examine which shoe characteristics are best for stability. However, with the recent advent of alternative styles of footwear, more research is needed to determine how these new styles affect balance control. The purpose of this study was to determine how three of these types of footwear (Crocs®, flip flops, and Vibram® Five Fingers) affect postural control in 18 healthy males between the ages of 18-44 after walking one mile at a self selected pace. The specific aims of the study were to (1) investigate the effects of a one mile, preferred pace walk on standing balance measures and to (2) examine the effects of three alternative styles of footwear on standing balance measures. These standing balance measures included AP/ML (Anterior-Posterior/Medial-Lateral) sway velocity and AP/ML sway RMS (root-mean-square). Sway velocity and RMS were measured under four conditions of the Neurocom Equitest Sensory Organization Test (EO, EC, EOSRV, EOSRP) before and after the one mile walk. Higher values for sway velocity and RMS were used to indicate decreased balance and postural stability. A predetermined alpha level of 0.05 was used, and results were analyzed using a 2x3 repeated measures ANOVA [2 measurement times (pre/post walking) x 3 footwear types (CC, FF, MIN)] for each of the four sensory organization test (SOT conditions).

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: May, David S.
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Biology
Thesis Advisor: John Garner
Thesis Advisor's Department: Exercise Science
Institution: The University of Mississippi
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Depositing User: David May
Date Deposited: 12 May 2015 17:45
Last Modified: 12 May 2015 17:45
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/432

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