Understanding the impact of age, gender, height and body mass index on children's balance

Jessica Kolic, Kaitlyn O'Brien, Kelly-Ann Bowles, Ross Iles, Cylie Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: This research aimed to understand the influence of age, gender, height and body mass index (BMI) on balance ability in children aged 4-12 years. The secondary aim was to develop normative values for three balance tests on the Balance Master system. Methods: Children were recruited in 2017 through community advertising. Balance testing occurred at three recreational centres in Frankston, Victoria, Australia. Data were collected by the Rhythmic Weight Shift, modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration and Limits of Stability balance tests of the Balance Master equipment. Multiple regression analysis determined associations between variables including age, gender, height and BMI. Results: There were 91 children recruited and consented. Children were aged between 4 and 12 years old. Balance ability was shown to improve with age (P <.05), with girls demonstrating more mature balance strategies at earlier ages. Decreased BMI was associated with greater balance ability and postural control (P <.05). Conclusion: The normative values established may be used to support clinical paediatric assessment with this equipment. Findings of this study suggest that increased BMI may be associated with poorer balance ability in children. However, further research studies are needed to explore this assertion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • body mass index
  • child
  • child development
  • postural balance

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