Understanding Static Balance: How to Train, and Its Relationship to the Elderly

The Meaning of Static Balance Is – Does Reader realize that today’s teenagers often complain of back pain because they rarely do physical activity? Or even Reader included in the group of “elderly teenagers”?

According to the WHO ( World Health Organization ), physical activity that does not involve physical activity can actually be a risk factor for the occurrence of chronic diseases that are estimated to cause global death. Physical activity that is meant as such is for example when spending more time in front of the television coupled with consuming high fat snacks. Actually, it’s okay to spend time in front of the television while eating snacks, but it should be balanced with sports.

When talking about sports, it will definitely not be separated from the balance of the body which is very important for everyone, starting from athletes and ordinary people. This body balance exercise is often taught in the family environment, residential environment, to school through the subjects of Physical Education and Sports.

In this body balance exercise, there are several types, each of which must be done correctly so that the body part is not sprained. Some types of body balance include static balance and dynamic balance.

So, what is the static balance? Can this static balance exercise have an effect on a certain age group?

Well, so that Reader doesn’t become part of the elderly youth again, let’s read the following description!

Understanding of Static Equilibrium

Before discussing static balance, it would be better if Reader understood what balance is first. There are several opinions expressed by experts regarding the definition of this balance. According to Winter (1995), balance is the ability to maintain the projection of the body’s center on a platform, as a good support when standing, sitting, and walking.

Then according to Lee & Scudds (2003) think that a balance is needed to be able to maintain position and stability while moving from one position to another. Meanwhile, according to Javaid (2017), states that changes in the sensorimotor system, audio or visual senses, related to age can also affect the ability to maintain proper balance. In this case, balance can be divided into two types, namely static balance and dynamic balance.

Well, after understanding what body balance is, now let’s talk about static balance!

As the name suggests, static balance is when the body manages to maintain an unchanged position or a fixed position in place. For example, balance when standing on one leg or when standing on a balance board. According to research conducted by De Oreo (1980), stated that there is no striking difference between the ability of static balance in a man and a woman.

Meanwhile, dynamic balance is a balance to survive and defend the body accompanied by certain physical movements. For example, when pedaling a bicycle, the body must balance two things, namely so that the body does not fall and so that the bicycle continues to run through the pedal cycle.

The ability to balance both statically and dynamically requires effort to control the muscle nerve organs, especially when performing rapid movements with rapid changes in the body’s center of gravity.

How to Train Balance

The balance of the body that each individual has is not immediately obtained just like that. So that the body can have the ability to control the nerve organs of the muscles, it must be trained with some exercises. Balance training is both static and dynamic, usually done from early to adulthood. Reader may often perform these balance exercises without realizing it.

Well, here are some stretching exercises for static balance and dynamic balance according to Harsono (1988), namely:

1. Static Balance Training

There are many ways to train static balance in the human body, one of which is static stretching . Actually, this static stretching exercise is often practiced in yoga activities, which is included in the physical fitness training program.

This yoga activity has a variety of benefits, ranging from training balance, improving organ function, increasing concentration and intelligence, to reducing perceived depression and stress.

In static stretching exercises, one should take an attitude in such a way that one can stretch some specific muscles. Usually the attitude in this exercise is in the form of standing with legs straight, body bent, and hands trying to touch the floor, which can work to stretch the muscles of the back of the thigh. Since this exercise is included in static balance, the movement must be maintained for a few seconds without moving.

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Regarding the duration of how long the static attitude should be maintained in this exercise there are several different opinions. According to Bompa (1983), it is recommended to maintain a static attitude for 6-12 seconds. Then, according to Pate and friends (1984), advocate for a time duration of around 10 seconds or more. Then, according to Katch and Mc Ardle (1983), revealed that the duration of time for a static attitude is better around 10-30 seconds. The difference in the duration of time to maintain the static attitude can be done by Reader as much as possible, but it will be good if the duration exceeds 10 seconds.

In this effort to exercise dynamic balance, it is necessary to pay attention to several things, which is to avoid stretching suddenly too far or too extreme so that it can cause the muscles to feel sore. Well, here are some steps that should be observed in the effort of static balance training, namely:

  • While stretching the muscles (warming up), do it slowly without shock.
  • When you feel something stretching in the muscles during the warm-up, it is better to stop. Continue again when the feeling of tension no longer feels painful.
  • Hold the static position for 20-30 seconds.
  • Let the whole body feel relaxed, especially in the muscles that are stretched so that the movement space itself is able to stretch wider.
  • Do not hold your breath, try to keep breathing normally and slowly.
  • After holding the static position for 20-30 seconds, slowly return to the starting position. Don’t jump straight away so the muscles don’t get shocked and don’t contract.

Static balance training is often used as a favorite sport because it has many advantages compared to dynamic balance training, namely in terms of:

  • Eliminates the possibility of injury to muscles, joints, and ligaments in the body.
  • Avoid pain after heavy exercise.
  • During exercise, the stretched muscles become more relaxed.
  • A static attitude that is maintained for longer, will later experience muscle lengthening.
  • Less energy is released compared to dynamic balance exercises.

2. Dynamic Balance Training

Dynamic balance training can usually be done by moving the body parts rhythmically. The movement is in the form of twisting or bouncing the body parts so that the muscles will feel stretched. Unfortunately, some dynamic balance exercises have received criticism from some experts, one of whom is De Vries (1988) who believes that stretching done strongly and quickly can actually cause muscle stretch reflexes. Therefore, dynamic balance training should be done sparingly so that the muscles do not contract.

Dynamic balance exercises that can be done such as sweeping, walking, running, gymnastics, and many more.

Factors Affecting Balance

The balance of the body has differences in every human being, both in static and dynamic balance. One of the striking factors is age, so from that, in today’s age there are many static balance training programs that are specifically targeted at the elderly.

According to Kisner and Colby (2007), there are several factors that affect balance in the human body, namely:

1. Center of Gravity (COG)

The center of gravity also has a great influence on the balance of the human body, because the center of gravity basically works by spreading the mass of objects evenly. The weight of the human body will later be supported by the point of gravity so that the body can remain in a balanced position.

The human body will remain balanced when the center of gravity moves spontaneously in accordance with the direction of the change in body weight.

2. Line of Gravity (Line of Gravity – LOG)

The line of gravity is an imaginary line that runs vertically through the center at the point of gravity. The level of stability in the human body will later be determined by the relationship between the line of gravity, the center of gravity, and the existing fulcrum.

3. Area of ​​Focus (Base of Support – BOS)

This fulcrum or fulcrum is the part that is related to the support surface of the human body. Later, the body will remain balanced when the line of gravity is exactly at the fulcrum. Therefore, most people can stand more stably on two legs than on one leg.

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4. Age

Age is also an important factor in the balance of the human body, especially in the elderly. As you get older, your body balance tends to decrease. We can see that in children, the balance is higher because the size of the child’s head is relatively larger than his legs, which illustrates that the center of gravity is lower so that the fulcrum will also be more stable.

5. Gender

Although it has previously been mentioned that there is no striking difference between the body balance of girls and boys, it turns out that there are other studies that compare this, especially in elderly women and elderly men. Differences in body balance based on gender are caused by differences in the location of the center of gravity.

When based on body height, then the center of gravity in males has around 56% and females around 55%. The center of gravity in females is lower because they have heavier hips and thighs, as well as shorter leg sizes.

6. Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index or BMI is an indicator that usually determines the fat on a person’s body, so it can be used to determine the weight status, whether it is included in the thin, ideal, or overweight category. This BMI indicator can also be useful to avoid the risk of health problems due to lack or excess weight.

However, it is not immediately possible for people who fall into the thin category to have a stable balance, it is not uncommon for fat people to also have good balance 

Well, here are the categories of thin, ideal, and overweight (obesity) along with their BMI.

Category IMT (Body Mass Index)
Skinny 17.0 – 18.4
Normal 18.5 – 25.0
Too Fat (Obesity) >27.0

7. Blood Pressure

Blood pressure also affects the balance of the body. Blood pressure is the force of blood flow in the walls of blood vessels that come from the heart (arterial vessels) to the rest of the body. If you want to measure the blood pressure in your body, use a tensimeter.

8. Physical Activity and Work

Unbeknownst to many people, regular physical activity can increase strength and prevent imbalances that cause falls, especially in the elderly. Therefore, the elderly are encouraged to continue to do their daily activities, in addition to improving their health, they can also maintain their body balance to minimize the occurrence of falls.

9. Hormones

In general, women tend to experience faster musculoskeletal decline than men because they go through menopause. In females, there will usually be a decrease in skeletal hormones of around 25-30%, while in males it is only 10-15%.

10. Muscle Strength

The last factor is muscle strength, which in every human body has differences. The strength of this muscle is the ability of muscle tension and force, both statically and dynamically in an effort to maintain body stability. Muscle strength can be produced by proper muscle contraction and relaxation, so that later the body can achieve balance.

Therefore, most of the elderly are vulnerable to a decrease in muscle function and affect their balance when walking and doing other activities.

Static Equilibrium Relations in Elderly Groups

In this regard, the relationship of static balance in the elderly group can be seen in their body posture. Body posture in maintaining balance is the main thing for the elderly so that they can continue to do their daily activities. Many studies have stated that as people age, their balance will decrease.

When doing static balance exercises, the elderly are advised to be quiet first before doing the exercise, one example is standing. Most of the elderly will experience changes in posture due to difficulties in controlling balance where the center of gravity almost always changes. They will have difficulty controlling upright balance by positioning head to toe in a straight line. Especially in the elderly over the age of 60, most of them their walking speed ability continues to decrease.

Body imbalance usually occurs because there is a change in the alignment of the spine which can cause excessive use of postural muscles as a compensatory action. Therefore, the imbalance of the body is usually caused by the use of excessive energy, fatigue, and there is pain in the body parts.

Well, that’s a review of what static balance is accompanied by a definition of dynamic balance. As a teenager, Reader should keep exercising , don’t keep lying down in front of the television or laptop…