Balance deterioration in older adults limits their activities of daily living and community participation, and is a significant risk factor for falls. One contributory element to this functional decline is impairment of anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs). A four-week APA-based training program is feasible and could be effective in improving postural control, functional balance, mobility, and quality of life in older adults.
Besides balance, muscle strength / power is required for the successful performance of activities of daily living (ADL). General causes of age-related skeletal muscle mass loss (i.e., sarcopenia) occur more readily in persons with low amounts of activity. According to Shumway-Cook and Woollacott balance can be subdivided into static / dynamic steady-state (i.e., maintaining a steady position in sitting, standing and walking), proactive (i.e., anticipation of a predicted disturbance), and reactive (i.e., compensation of a disturbance) balance.
Training equipment such as rebound nets are effective in training anticipatory activation of skeletal muscle and contributing to sustained proactive balance.