1. Johnson, Eric G. PT, DSc, NCS
  2. Meltzer, Jonathan D. BA


Background and Purpose: Falls are common and often take place in the home. Risk of fall increases if the environment is dimly lit. Longer sitting pause times, before standing, might improve postural stability after standing from a supine position. The purpose of this investigation was to measure the effects of sitting pause times on postural sway velocity immediately following a supine-to-standing transfer in a dimly lit room in older and younger adult women.


Methods: Five women aged 65 to 70 years and 5 aged 23 to 30 years participated in the study. On each of 2 consecutive days, study participants lay on a mat table with their eyes closed for 45 minutes before performing a supine-to-standing transfer in a dimly lit room. Sitting pause times of 2 seconds and 30 seconds preceded the transfers.


Results: Mean postural sway velocity for the whole sample and for younger and older groups was less after a 30-second pause time than that after a 2-second pause time (sample, P = .001; young, P = .019; old, P = .021). No significant difference in mean postural sway velocity was observed between the 2 groups (P > .05).


Conclusions: Total mean postural sway velocity was less when study participants performed a sitting pause of 30 seconds before standing in a dimly lit room. These results suggest that longer sitting pause times may provide improved adaptability to dimly lit environments contributing to improved postural stability.