Research on unperturbed stance is largely based on a one-segment inverted pendulum model. Recently, an increasing number of studies report a contribution of other major joints to postural control. Therefore this study evaluates whether the conclusions originating from the research based on a one-segment model adequately capture postural sway during unperturbed stance. High-pass filtered kinematic data (cutoff frequency 1/30 Hz) obtained over 3 min of unperturbed stance were analyzed in different ways. Variance of joint angles was analyzed. Principal-component analysis (PCA) was performed on the variance of lower leg, upper leg, and head-arms-trunk (HAT) angles, as well as on lower leg and COM angle (the orientation of the line from ankle joint to center of mass). It was found that the variance in knee and hip joint angles did not differ from the variance found in the ankle angle. The first PCA component indicated that, generally, the upper leg and HAT segments move in the same direction as the lower leg with a somewhat larger amplitude. The first PCA component relating ankle angle variance and COM angle variance indicated that the ankle joint angle displacement gives a good estimate of the COM angle displacement. The second PCA component on the segment angles partly explains the apparent discrepancy between these findings because this component points to a countermovement of the HAT relative to the ankle joint angle. It is concluded that postural control during unperturbed stance should be analyzed in terms of a multiple inverted pendulum model. Copyright © 2008 The American Physiological Society.
Pinter, I. J., van Swigchem, R., van Soest, A. J., & Rozendaal, L. A. (2008). The dynamics of postural sway cannot be captured using a one-segment inverted pendulum model: a PCA on segment rotations during unperturbed stance. Journal of Neurophysiology, 100(6), 3197-3208. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.01312.2007