To evaluate the ability of the elderly of maintain a standing posture and methods of preventing
a decline, in this ability the relationship between balancing function and walking ability was studied
in 209 individuals aged 60-90 years old (45 males and 164 females).
Significant age-related changes were observed in parameters of equilibrium (distance of the
sway of the center of pressure, one-leg balancing time, A-P%) and walking ability (walking speed,
step length) , and the walking speed and step length were significantly correlated with more active
balancing function (one-leg balancing time, A-P%). In multiple regression equations using the
walking speed and step length as dependent variables, the lower limb muscle strength (vertical
jump) was the only significant independent variable in males and the first independent variable in
females, and its contribution was greater in walking at maximum speed than in free walking.
These results suggest that the relationship between walking ability and function of equilibrium is
mediated by the muscle strength and that prevention of the decrease in the muscle strength is
important for preservation of a high balancing ability and powerful gait.