Balance Icon

Motor sensory control

Balance Test

An important fitness factor that is often ignored in the gym, is improving motor sensory control.

This is a technical term used to describe your body’s ability to react to the three sensors it uses in maintaining balance. The body controls its position through the eyes, inner ear and muscle-nerve receptors called proprioceptors. As you age, your ability to balance decreases. This can be exacerbated by living a sedentary lifestyle where motor sensory control is not challenged on a regular basis (remember, if you don’t use it – you lose it).

Good motor sensory control not only helps avoid injuries, but it also helps you perform better at your sport (e.g. maintain balance whilst kicking a ball). Therefore, balance exercises are just as important to maintain overall physical fitness as any other exercises you may undertake.

balance task animation

Getting the best balance results

To ensure repeatability during the balance test, you should always keep your hands on your hips. It also makes the test a little harder and therefore a more sensitive test. Just lifting your foot off the floor will make you less stable than tucking your foot behind the opposite leg.

If you lose your balance, or are not happy with your score, you can try again immediately after the test by pressing the “try again” button on the screen. Try to relax during the test.

How do I improve my balance?

There are many ways to improve your balance from simple exercises such as one legged standing to taking up Tai Chi. The quickest way to improve your balance is to undertake exercises that exclude one of the three motor sensors.

As an example, try to balance on one leg for 30 to 60 seconds with your eyes closed. To reduce the effect of the inner ear, try balancing on one leg with your head tilted back. Of course these exercises should only be performed in a safe environment.

There are also many exercises that can be performed using tools such as wobble boards, balance balls, etc.

Ask your PT

Ask your personal trainer for advice and guidance which exercises are most suitable for you and as always, don’t be afraid to tell them what exercises you don’t like doing. They will definitely want you to enjoy your experience.

MIE Medical Logo

30 Years of Scientific Innovation...