Effects of age and sex on trunk motor control

M. Griffioen, J. H. van Dieën

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The goal of the present study was to assess the effects of age and sex on trunk motor control. Fifty healthy adults (aged between 19 and 67 years, 28 males) participated in this study. Trunk motor control was assessed using force-controlled perturbations directly applied to the trunk. Admittance (inverse of lumped intrinsic and reflexive impedance) decreased with age and tended to be lower in females than males. The age effect on admittance was due to increasing intrinsic stiffness and damping with age, while intrinsic damping and position- and velocity feedback gains were lower in females than males. Feedback delays were not dependent on age. The decrease of trunk admittance with age is most likely due to increasing levels of antagonistic co-activation. Trunk admittance was (just) not significantly different between females and males, in spite of lower feedback gains and damping, possibly due to differences in trunk mass between sexes. These results imply that age and sex differences should be considered when assessing the relationship between back pain and trunk motor control.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109607
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Early online date3 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2020

Cite this