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Foam pads properties and their effects on posturography in participants of different weight

Fagan, Michael; Gosselin, Guy


Michael Fagan

Guy Gosselin


Background: Foam pads are increasingly used on force platforms during balance assessments in order to produce increased instability thereby permitting the measurement of enhanced posturographic parameters. A variety of foam pads providing different material properties have thus been used, although it is still unclear which characteristics produce the most effective and reliable tests. Furthermore, the effects of participant bodyweight on the performance of the foam pads and outcome of the test are unknown. This project investigated how different foam samples affected postural sway velocity in participants of different weights. Method: Four foam types were tested according to a modified American Society for Testing and Materials standard method for testing flexible cellular materials. Thirty-six healthy male factory workers divided into three groups according to body mass were tested three times for each of the 13 randomly-selected experimental situations for changes in postural sway velocity in this cross-over study. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to compare the results and evaluate the difference in sway velocity between mass groups. Results: For the materials considered here, the modulus of elasticity of the foam pads when compressed by 25% of their original heights was inversely proportional to their density. The largest changes in postural sway velocity were measured when the pads of highest stiffness were used, with memory foam pads being the least likely to produce significant changes. Conclusions: The type of foam pads used in posturography is indeed important. Our study shows that the samples with a higher modulus of elasticity produced the largest change in postural sway velocity during quiet stance. The results suggest that foam pads used for static computerised posturography should 1) possess a higher modulus of elasticity and 2) show linear deformation properties matched to the participants’ weight.


Fagan, M., & Gosselin, G. (2015). Foam pads properties and their effects on posturography in participants of different weight. Chiropractic & manual therapies, 23(2), Article ARTN 2.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 19, 2015
Publication Date 2015-02
Deposit Date May 27, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 27, 2015
Journal Chiropractic & manual therapies
Print ISSN 2045-709X
Electronic ISSN 2045-709X
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 2
Article Number ARTN 2
Keywords Balance, Foam pads, Posturography, Modulus of elasticity, Biomechanics
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Chiropractic & manual therapies, 2015, v.23, issue 2.


Published article (761 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2015 Gosselin and Fagan; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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