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Maintaining Balance while Concentrating

Keywords: two-sample t-test, Mann-Whitney


How difficult is it to maintain your balance while concentrating? It is more difficult when you are older? Nine elderly (6 men and 3 women) and eight young men were subjects in an experiment. Each subject stood barefoot on a "force platform" and was asked to maintain a stable upright position and to react as quickly as possible to an unpredictable noise by pressing a hand held button. The noise came randomly and the subject concentrated on reacting as quickly as possible. The platform automatically measured how much each subject swayed in millimetres in both the forward/backward and the side-to-side directions.

Variable Description

Age Elderly or Young
FBSway Sway in forward/backward direction
SideSway Sway in side-to-side direction


Data File (tab-delimited text file)


Teasdale, N., Bard, C., La Rue, J., and Fleury, M. (1993). On the cognitive penetrability of posture control. Experimental Aging Research 19, 1-13.
The data was obtained from the DASL Data and Story Line online database.




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