The affects of acute muscle fatigue on falling


Over the past 5 years there has been a lot of new research published about falling in the older adult population. Virtually every hospital, retirement village and nursing home has a falls prevention program, however falls remain prevalent today.

The risk factors of falling are divided into two categories

  • Intrinsic Risk Factors

    1. General health and functioning
    2. Medical conditions
    3. Musculosketal and neuromuscular
    4. Sensory
    5. Balance
    6. Gait or walking speed
    7. Cognitive changes
    8. Multiple Medications
  • Extrinsic Risk Factors

    1. Situational factors
    2. Environmental factors

A recent article by Papa EV, et al in the September 2015 issue of Clinical biomechanics investigated the effects acute muscle fatigue has on lower leg mechanics during simulated falls.  The results indicated that there were significant alterations of the stepping leg in the presence of acute muscle fatigue and increased falls risk.

These changes appeared to resolve within 15 minutes and have important implications for activities of daily living and older…

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Staying active in Retirement – Our ageing population


With an ageing population staying active in retirement has never been more important.

The facts are;


Healthcare systems around the world are faced with significant challenges, including those related to chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, mental health (particularly Alzheimer’s disease) and an ageing population.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) between 2000 and 2050 the world’s population aged 60+ will double from 11% to 22%, or 2 billion people in real terms1.  This ageing population is further increased with the number of people living into their 80s and 90s.

With these changes in demographics, the need for medical, allied health and long term care services are also rising. There is a global increase in chronic diseases such as dementia with an estimated 25-30% of people aged 85 or older having some degree of cognitive decline.

This rising proportion of older people is placing upward pressure on healthcare…

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Recovery from endurance exercise

Miles Browning

Endurance Exercise

A recent article by Neubauer published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that muscular recovery, from a transcriptional perspective, is incomplete 96 h after endurance exercise involving muscle damage.

Physiologically speaking recovery from an energy system’s perspective is complete in 6-12 hrs, depending on the intensity levels.

This study highlights the importance of recovery and providing adequate time between training sessions, especially high intensity ones.

It would be interesting to investigate what the recovery time would be when a series of sessions are performed within a normal training program.

Further, if full recovery from a transcriptional perspective was achieved before the next hard training session would there be an improvement in performance?

The abstract of Neubauer’s article follows;

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Feb 1;116(3):274-87. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00909.2013. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Time course-dependent changes in the transcriptome of human skeletal muscle during recovery from 

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The acute effects intensity and volume of strength training have on running performance.

Miles Browning

This article by Doma highlights the importance of providing adequate recovery between strength and endurance sessions. A well structured and periodised program will ensure that adequate recovery is built in. Sometimes its and advantage to the end goal to train under fatigue.

Plan your sessions and understand why your doing them.

Remember, a session isn’t finished until you have completely recovered from it.

Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(2):107-15. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2012.726653. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

The acute effects intensity and volume of strength training have on running performance.

  • 1a Institute of Sport and Exercise Science , James Cook University , Townsville , Queensland , Australia.


Strength training has been shown to cause acute detrimental effects on running performance. However, there is limited investigation on the effect of various strength training variables, whilst controlling eccentric contraction velocity, on running performance. The present study examined the…

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High intensity short rest resistance exercise on muscle damage in men and women.

Miles Browning

This study shows there are significant differences in inflammatory responses to high intensity short rest resistance training between the sexes. It highlights the importance of understanding the stresses being imposed on the individual. Further if an individual has a genetic predisposition to inflammation (leading to higher iL6 levels) and  lower iL10  levels then their individual responses will vary even further requiring more recovery.

Understanding the global response to exercise prescription is important however knowing the individual’s response will aid in more accurate and effective training interventions

The effects of high intensity short rest resistance exercise on muscle damage markers in men and women.

Heavens KR1, Szivak TK, Hooper DR, Dunn-Lewis C, Comstock BA, Flanagan SD, Looney DP, Kupchak BR, Maresh CM, Volek JS, Kraemer WJ.

Heavens, KR, Szivak, TK, Hooper, DR, Dunn-Lewis, C, Comstock, BA, Flanagan, SD, Looney, DP, Kupchak…

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Effect of dual tasking on postural responses to rapid lower limb movement while seated on an exercise ball.

Miles Browning

In April 2014, Researchers investigated mechanisms of postural control with and without a concurrent task. Interestingly they found the cognitive task had little impact on the response of the trunk muscles. This study raises the question whether voluntary pre contraction of the postural muscles is useful if there is a decoupling of voluntary and postural control mechanisms. Further investigation will be important to clarify these results and see whether this holds true for older patients.

Effect of dual tasking on postural responses to rapid lower limb movement while seated on an exercise ball.


Postural adjustments are used by the central nervous system to pre-empt and correct perturbations in balance during voluntary body movements. Alteration in these responses is associated with a number of neuromuscular/musculoskeletal conditions. Attention has been identified as important in this system; performing a concurrent cognitive task has…

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