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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2010 March;46(1):55-8

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Observation of arm support in healthy elderly people

Schurr K. 1, Ada L. 2

1 Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Sydney, Australia; 2 Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia


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AIM: The purpose of this study was to describe the type and amount of arm support used by healthy older adults.
METHODS: A sample of 21 people (mean age 73 years, SD 7) were observed (mean time 272 minutes, SD 67) during usual daily activities. A checklist was used to record whether the arm was supported or unsupported. The glenohumeral joint was described as supported when the subject’s arm was resting on an external object or on their body and unsupported when no part of the arm was resting on anything. Unsupported was divided into unsupporteddependent (where the arm was hanging by the subject’s side with the elbow in extension) and unsupportednon-dependent (where the subject’s arm was not by the side but not supported such as when reaching for objects).
RESULTS: Subjects’ arms were supported for 36% of the time, unsupporteddependent for 6% and unsupportednon-dependent for 58%.
CONCLUSION: The arm was supported for one-third of the time and actively moving for most of the time. Arms were rarely hanging unsupported. Therefore, the structures of the shoulder were seldom required to support a dependent hanging arm during usual arm use.

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