The aim of the study was to explore whether passive stiffness of the hamstrings influences the strategy of maintaining postural stability. A sample of 50 subjects was selected; the final analyses were based on data of 41 individuals (33 men, 8 women) aged 21 to 29 (mean = 23.3, SD = 1.1) years. A quasi- experimental ex post facto design with repeated measures was used. Categories of independent variables were obtained directly prior to the measurement of the dependent variables. In stage one of the study, passive knee extension was measured in the supine position to assess hamstring stiffness. In stage two, the magnitude of postural sway in antero-posterior direction was measured, while varying the body position on a stabilometric platform, both with and without visual control. The margin of safety was used as a measure of postural control. The magnitude of the margin of safety increased significantly between the open-eye and closed-eye trials. However, although we registered a visible tendency for a larger increase of the margin of safety associated with lower levels of passive hamstrings stiffness, no significant differences were found. Therefore, this study demonstrated that hamstring stiffness did not influence the strategy used to maintain postural stability.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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