Is ankle plantar flexor strength associated with balance and walking speed in healthy people? A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tavakkoli Oskouei, Sanam, Malliaras, Peter, Jansons, Paul, Hill, Keith, Soh, Sze-Ee, Jaberzadeh, Shapour and Perraton, Luke 2021, Is ankle plantar flexor strength associated with balance and walking speed in healthy people? A systematic review and meta-analysis, Physical therapy, vol. 101, no. 4, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzab018.

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Title Is ankle plantar flexor strength associated with balance and walking speed in healthy people? A systematic review and meta-analysis
Author(s) Tavakkoli Oskouei, Sanam
Malliaras, Peter
Jansons, PaulORCID iD for Jansons, Paul orcid.org/0000-0002-8766-0516
Hill, Keith
Soh, Sze-Ee
Jaberzadeh, Shapour
Perraton, Luke
Journal name Physical therapy
Volume number 101
Issue number 4
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2021-04
ISSN 0031-9023
1538-6724
Keyword(s) Ankle Joint
Muscle Strength
Balance
Gait
Aging
Mobility
Summary Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between ankle plantar flexor muscle (PF) strength and balance and walking speed in healthy adults. Methods Four databases (Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, CINAHL Plus, and SPORTDiscus) were searched from inception to December 2019. Studies with any design were included if the association between PF strength and balance and walking speed was investigated among healthy adults. Articles were screened for eligibility independently by 2 reviewers. Study characteristics and Pearson r values derived from the association between PF strength and balance and walking speed were extracted. Thirty-four studies were eligible. The main group of interest in the studies was older adults. Pearson r values were transformed to rz values using Fisher z-transformation. Meta-analysis of rz values was conducted and then back-transformed to r. Results In older adults, PF maximal isometric strength had a positive weak association with static balance (r = 0.20; 95% CI = 0.08–0.32), a positive moderate association with dynamic reactive balance (r = 0.42; 95% CI = 0.32–0.57) and proactive balance (r = 0.55; 95% CI = 0.18–1.06), and a positive weak association with preferred walking speed (r = 0.29; 95% CI = 0.19–0.41) and maximum walking speed (r = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.06–0.63). In younger adults, there was a moderate association between early-phase PF rate of torque development and reactive balance (0.42 < r < 0.52). Conclusions PF strength appears to be moderately associated with dynamic reactive and proactive balance and weakly associated with static balance and walking speed. This finding highlights the potential role of PF strength in dynamic reactive and proactive balance. Impact This meta-analysis showed that ankle PF strength might be important for challenging dynamic balance tasks.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/ptj/pzab018
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1103 Clinical Sciences
1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30148176

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition
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