Biofeedback for better balance and mobility in seniors

A physiological process called aging, which excludes changes brought on by disease, can be characterized as a collection of long-lasting physiological changes that take place beyond adulthood. Although it is currently thought of as flexible since some components of an active and healthy lifestyle are respected, aging has the characteristics of being gradual, universal, unavoidable, and irreversible.

An old proverb states that aging is unavoidable but maturation is optional, emphasizing the impact of lifestyle (e.g., smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle) on aging. After high blood pressure, smoking, and high blood sugar levels, the World Health Organization (who) has identified physical inactivity as the fourth risk factor for global mortality.

Any movement of the body produced by skeletal muscles that require energy consumption is defined as physical activity, and exercise is a type of planned and structured physical activity with the goal of increasing or maintaining physical condition. Walking, stationary bike pedaling, treadmill walking, dancing, and swimming are all common aerobic activities recommended for elderly patients.


Aging and body composition changes


The aging process alters body composition (muscle mass + visceral mass, bone mass, adipose mass), predisposing to increased fragility. Muscle mass declines with age due to a decrease in physical activity, a restriction in food intake, and hormonal and neurodegenerative changes. The visceral mass, which includes all vital organs, does not vary with age. It is estimated that between the ages of 20 and 80, a person loses the equivalent of 45 percent of muscle mass and gains fat mass, eventually progressing to obesity.


Sarcopenia, a disorder marked by the loss of muscular mass, causes a deterioration in muscle strength in the aged. The mechanism of muscle mass loss may be explained by the absence of contractile proteins and modifications to the characteristics of contraction. Lack of movement and a higher chance of falling and breaking a bone are both correlated with lower limb muscular weakness.

Another alteration in body composition that happens in the elderly is a loss in bone mass and density. The direct cause of osteoporosis fractures is an imbalance between bone resorption and new bone production during bone remodeling processes, which results in this condition.


Aerobic and resistance exercises that involve the heart and lungs raise heart and breathing rates, requiring a steady supply of oxygen to sustain exertion. These exercises improve respiratory and cardiovascular health and can delay the onset of certain chronic diseases. It is preferable to engage in these activities for at least 30 minutes per day and to increase the workload in order to maintain the relative intensity of the exercise at a level that allows for the enhancement and preservation of the associated benefits. Seniors should engage in strength training at least twice a week. Maintaining excellent muscle strength is the only way to reverse sarcopenia, in addition to reducing the prevalence of functional restrictions.


Physical activity has been shown to directly modulate pathophysiology and reduce the risk of death from cerebrovascular accidents, hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. It also helps with blood sugar control, obesity prevention, depression and anxiety reduction, joint mobility and functionality maintenance, and pain relief. Furthermore, it improves cognitive performance, particularly in Alzheimer’s patients, self-esteem, and mental hygiene by facilitating interpersonal socialization.


Experimental investigations have looked into the impact of performing balance and mobility tasks while receiving biofeedback. Whether biofeedback-based training is efficient for enhancing movement performance following a stroke rehabilitation intervention has been thoroughly examined. 


Using Biofeedback to Help Elderly People Move Better


We lose strength as we become older, and regrettably, older people have more difficulty controlling their motor output than younger people. Simply said, older exercisers have more varied muscular output, which makes it harder to modulate muscle force while performing a task. The muscles and motor neurons that govern them have undergone degenerative alterations as a result.

The variability increases with task difficulty, making the desired joint movement less precise. In aging populations, it is essential to be able to decrease force output variability since it enhances performance and makes it easier to pick up new skills.


Using biofeedback, older adults can practice controlling their motor output while performing progressively more difficult activities while receiving feedback on the success and variability of their performance. Simple strength training is insufficient to train the fine-tuning of movement required for life.

However, strength training alone will not lessen the variability of contraction seen in older persons. Strength training is excellent at reducing muscle loss and atrophy.

Our Quantum Biofeedback devices track the movements and assist you in determining what has to be done to increase your strength and mobility.


Using our biofeedback devices NUCLEUS and Ed-X in older adults provides additional information about body function and position, allowing you to develop behavioral changes to improve and enhance performance. Visual biofeedback, in conjunction with NUCLEUS and Ed-X, allows for active practice in controlling and improving body motions. The visual biofeedback in real-time provides frequent and accurate updates on muscle activation levels. When older people visualize muscle contraction fluctuations, they are better able to take that information and make visuomotor corrections to control muscle activity.


NUCLEUS and Ed-X from Quantum Biofeedback are excellent tools for anyone looking to improve muscle activation, timing, and performance during an exercise. It is especially important for older adults who are experiencing a decline in muscle mass, force output accuracy, and muscle activation levels as a result of aging. When it comes to improving muscle activation levels and reducing asymmetries after joint replacement surgery, biofeedback therapy can be an important step. Try using it to fine-tune muscle activation levels, improve exercise precision and performance, and ultimately improve task coordination in your elderly population!


Remember that it is never too late to make a change in your life, and factors such as age, time, or even experience should not prevent you from pursuing your dreams, projects, and living a different life. As our lives progress, remember that you are both in constant motion and in constant control.