Document Type



A review of current literature shows a relationship between ankle mobility and balance in an older population, with limited evidence in younger, healthy populations. To bridge this gap, this study aims to explore this relationship in a healthy, college-aged population. Maintaining upright balance is an integrated effort by the vestibular, somatosensory, and visual systems. Regaining a loss of balance happens with three strategies: an ankle strategy for small perturbations, a hip strategy for moderate perturbations, and a stepping strategy for the largest loss to regain a new base of support. Taking these sequential responses into account, the investigators specifically looked into the ankle joint as it is the first potential region to limit postural and balance strategies. 28 subjects (20.1 ± 0.9 years) were asked to undergo two procedures. First, ankle goniometry was performed on four motions: dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, inversion, and eversion. The first two used a trusted smartphone application to obtain measurements, while the latter two used a goniometer. Next, the BioSway BESS Test was performed to objectively measure balance. Pearson’s Correlation testing, using SPSS Software, showed no significant correlation (p<0.05) between Biosway and all goniometric measurements. Significance was found between test items on the BioSway: Double Leg Stance (DLS) firm and foam (r=0.602, p<0.001) and Single Leg Stance (SLS) firm and foam (r=0.387, p<0.05). Ankle mobility does not appear to directly impact the target group’s ability to effectively maintain balance. This is shown through the results of no direct correlation in any of the goniometric measures with the only significance being present in the differing test surfaces. This rejects the investigator’s hypothesis that ankle mobility impacts balance. The hypothesis was based on previous research proving a correlation between the variables in an elderly population. One explanation may be that older populations may have weaker hips and knees and may be likely to have a weaker imbalance response than the target population for this study. This study shows that when pertaining to a young, healthy population, to correct one’s imbalance response, one may not need to examine ankle mobility.


Applied Health Sciences

Date Accepted/Awarded

Spring 5-20-2024

First Advisor/Reader

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.