Through ground reaction (foot) forceplate-based, center-of-pressure (COP) parameters, we aimed to investigate differences in standing balance for young, healthy individuals from both athlete (soccer) and non-athlete subject populations. We investigated five, COP displacement and velocity parameters derived from the COP position time series. Soccer athlete and non-athlete subjects performed standing balance for postural tasks of increasing difficulty levels, by varying visual cues (eyes-open/eyes-closed) and base of support (wide/tandem foot placement), leading to four test conditions: 1) wide/eyes-open, 2) wide/eyes-closed, 3) tandem/eyes-open, 4) tandem/eyes-closed.

By investigating position and velocity characteristics of the COP position time series, we observed that the soccer athletes had generally lower COP displacement and velocity parameters (meaning they were more stable and perhaps better able to control their body sway) than the non-athletes. This study lends new insights as to how parameters derived from the COP position can be utilized to determine differences in balance between normal subject populations (e.g., athletes versus non-athletes).

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