How spreading the forefeet apart influences upright standing control

Resultant center-of-pressure (CP) displacements result along mediolateral (ML) and anteroposterior (AP) axes from strategies mobilizing hips and ankles, respectively, and thus, should be largely influenced by the angles between the feet. To assess this relation and the effects of foot position on postural performance, 9 healthy young adults were tested. The main results, as the forefeet are spread farther apart (from 30 degrees in endorotation to 120 degrees in exorotation), indicate (1) a larger contribution of the estimated ankle mechanisms in the generation of the CP trajectories along the ML axis, (2) increased variances along the longitudinal axis of the feet, (3) a constant longitudinal pattern of the CP trajectories under each foot whose main axis displays a progressively increased angle with the inner borders of the feet, and (4) increased variances for CP displacements along both ML and AP axes. These data emphasize the importance of foot positioning in stance control, especially along the ML axis where spreading the forefeet apart progressively increases the contribution of the mechanisms mobilizing the ankles.

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