Plymouth State Balance Study

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Tests and their Equipment


The MatScan ® by Tekscan tracks the translation of the center of pressure of the body in static stance. It calculates 5 different variables: area, distance, variability, left-right excursion, and anterior-posterior excursion. 

Foot Pressure

Throughout the testing we have the ability to see how each client divided pressure between their feet. It can help us to draw a conclusion when we are faced with an aberrant piece of data. 

Pressure Mapping

While the client is balancing on the mat, the technology is tracking their postural sway. No matter how still you think you are are still moving. This machine can sense and record the slightest movements and we can watch it all happen. Every frame (about 30 frames per second) the machine records where your center of balance is, then draws a red line between them showing your progression. The teal circle is called a best fit ellipse which is essentially a best fit line for all the points. Theoretically, the smaller the circle the better your balance. 

Check out our matscan videos on youtube!

Timed up and go

The Timed Up and Go is a „clinical test measuring single gait and scored in seconds. The subject stands up from the chair walks 10 feet, turns around, walks back and sits back down in the chair. The subject's cut score corresponds to a population. See chart below.


The Berg is a clinical test. Subjects are asked to perform a series of functional movements yielding composite score. This composite score then indicates whether or not the subject is considered to be at risk of falling. 

Check out our Timed up and go and berg balance test videos on youtube!

Post testing...

Following Testing a follow up phone survey is conducted every two weeks for 6 months for each subject. When a subject is called they are asked if they have fallen in the span of two weeks and if they have they're fall is categorized into one of the following three: Activities of Daily Living, Ice or snow, or physical activity or sport. Each subject is also mailed a thank you letter after they have been tested. The thank you letter includes the subject's individual results on each of the tests, some informative facts on falls in the elder population, and thanks them for their participation in our study. Click here to see what a thank you letter looks like!