Background: Developmental changes are observed in postural control system during the first years of life. These changes have been explained as resulting from the use and integration
of sensory cues from different channels, which provide information about body dynamics (position and velocity). Despite the recent advances in understanding some aspects of the postural control system
functioning, it is not yet clear when children reach similar adult-like performance. Thus, there is the need to obtain and organize normative data to provide performance analysis and evaluation in
different age groups to enable means of inferring and consequently evaluating postural control functioning in children and adolescents with typical and atypical development throughout the first years
of life. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to obtain normative data of children and adolescents performance while maintaining the upright posture in different conditions of vision and basis of
Methods: The study included 91 participants, boys and girls age groups 6-16 years. All participants were from Rio Claro city public schools, with previous parents’ authorization. Each
participant was asked to remain standing as still as possible on a force platform. Four trials were perfomed, 1- minute each, in the conditions: 1) parallel feet and eyes open; 2) parallel feet and
closed eyes; 3) feet in semi-tandem position and open eyes; and 4) feet in semi-tandem position and eyes closed. The order of attempts was randomly assigned. The forces applied to the force platform
were used to estimate the pressure centre position (CP), in the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions, and to calculate the total displacement, mean amplitude and of CP trajectories.
The results indicated that there was a decrease in the total displacement, mean amplitude and velocity of CP trajectories with increasing age. The performance of postural control was deteriorated in
the conditions without vision and with reduced support base for all ages. The changes in postural performance does not occur linearly, being checked even after the first decade of life, and reflects
the possible changes of sensory and motor systems.
The performance of postural control improves with aging, even after the first decade of life, reaching adult-like 14 years old. These results suggest that developmental changes occur even after the
first decade of life.