Effect of home-based oculomotor exercises on postural stability in healthy female adults

Francesco Fischetti, Stefania Cataldi, Antonio Giunto, Gianpiero Greco

Abstract

Visual information improves postural stability and facilitates stabilization of upright posture. To date, how saccades and smooth pursuit eye movements affect postural control is still a matter of debate. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of oculo-motor exercises on static postural stability in healthy female adults. Participants (51.6 ± 4.9 years) were randomly allocated to an experimental group (n = 9) that performed 4-week home-based oculomotor exercises (i.e., saccadic eye movement and smooth pursuit) or a control group (n = 9). Pre and post postural stability during quiet standing with eyes open were measured on both groups. Significant ‘Time x Group’ interaction (p < .05) was found for Length Function of Surface, anterior-posterior acceleration, length of the oscillations, rearfoot load and body sway surface. By post hoc analyses, significant differences were found in all stabilometric parameters during quiet standing in the experimental group (p < .05). No significant differences were found in postural stability in the control group. Improvements in postural stability after four weeks of two combined oculomotor exercises suggest that this specific type of ocular system exercises may be beneficial for healthy female adults. In addition, the present investigation supports evidence that eye movements interact with the postural control system.


Keywords

Postural control; Proprioceptive; Visual; Saccadic eye movement; Smooth pursuit

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2020.153.15





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