gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Aspects of sensory motor capability in elderly

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author K. Völker - University of Münster, Germany
  • L. Thorwesten - University of Münster, Germany

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa015

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Völker et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




On the one hand the level of sensorimotor capabilities in elderly is determined by means of physiological processes of aging, on the other hand the level of activity is a main influencing factor. The dimension of reduction in activity levels underlies several influencing factors, depending on psychological, social factors as well as factors of diseases. The objective of the study was to evaluated the sensorimotor capabilities of senior dancers compared to a matched inactive control group.


In a randomized cross section study, 31 female senior dancers (75 + 6 years) were compared to 25 inactive female seniors (76 + 7 years) who are not participating in any sports. Postural balance under static and dynamic conditions was measured using zone-walking-test, Romberg-test and a force plate based balance test. In addition a reposition task for the shoulder was given in different movements using a laser-pointing-test.


The evaluation of the results in static and dynamic testing of postural balance, showed significant better results for the senior dancers compared to the control group. The same results could be demonstrated for the reposition-task of the shoulder. Also an age related modulation regarding the postural balance abilities could be shown.


Evident differences in sensory motor capabilities depending on different activity levels can be verified for the tested volunteers. Physical activity in general and especially sportive activity contribute to decelerate or compensate the age related loss in sensory motor control. Intervention with accentuated physical activity and focused on proprioceptive tasks should be recommended especially in fall prevention interventions.