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Could this be a breakthrough in ski instruction?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Researchers at Boston University have use vibrating insoles to improve the balance of old people: http://www.bu.edu/abl/pdf/priplata2003lancet.pdf

That seems like a pretty useful way to improve the balance skills for beginner skiers if it works.  The article describes how they made the insoles.  Anyone want to build a few pair and try it?

 

BK

post #2 of 9
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post

Researchers at Boston University have use vibrating insoles to improve the balance of old people: http://www.bu.edu/abl/pdf/priplata2003lancet.pdf

That seems like a pretty useful way to improve the balance skills for beginner skiers if it works.  The article describes how they made the insoles.  Anyone want to build a few pair and try it?

 

BK

Why don't the summarize these things in plain English?

 

I think these things were vibrating soles under the feet.  People felt the vibrations, but barely.  I don't think they heard the vibrations, as in auditory/ears stuff, but I could be wrong.  The vibrations underfoot led elderly folks to sway less when standing still; thus the interpretation is that they were more balanced when the vibrations were telling them where the pressure was on the soles of their feet.  I couldn't find any part of this report saying these people were taught how to use the vibrating to be better balanced; they just figured it out on their own, maybe subconsciously, without instruction.

 

Bode, is this what you got from this report?  I am assuming I misinterpreted some stuff.  My patience was low for decoding the language.


Edited by LiquidFeet - 11/3/14 at 7:26am
post #3 of 9

Here you go LF, you could even get a 'vibration memebrship'

 

http://www.vibrationexercise.com/

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

@LF

I think deal is they balance better because they are more aware of the sensations on there feet. There's no instruction involved. I'd like to experiment with something like that. I wonder if it would help skilled skiers balance like the best skiers, or if it would help beginners learn balance skills faster. The beginner lesson on is a huge issue for the ski industry. If anything helps beginners learn faster, there should be a lot of industry support for that.

 

BK

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer View Post
 

@LF

I think deal is they balance better because they are more aware of the sensations on there feet. There's no instruction involved. I'd like to experiment with something like that. I wonder if it would help skilled skiers balance like the best skiers, or if it would help beginners learn balance skills faster. The beginner lesson on is a huge issue for the ski industry. If anything helps beginners learn faster, there should be a lot of industry support for that.

 

BK

 

Yep.  This is worth restating over and over.  Convert a beginner adult who is of child-bearing age, and you get the spouse and kids later.  No better pay-back is possible.  

 

Focusing on children's instruction is a maintenance/retention program.  Their parents are already converted; industry numbers don't grow much from ski schools creating better kids' programs.  The parents will shift the kids to another ski school if one doesn't make the kids happy, so one ski school may win out over another.  But the industry won't necessarily gain extra skiers.  


Edited by LiquidFeet - 11/3/14 at 8:05am
post #6 of 9
back in 2000 a study at U of Grenoble studied the effect of vibration on world class racers. Early fatigue was one significant result. This in turn spurred a lot of dampers being added to boots and skis. My supposition is that more very small and rapid muscle activity must be happening and this would explain the early fatigue.
I am unsure if experts would need more micro adjustment training and the elimination of vibration that has occurred over the last fifteen years suggest it is not considered a positive.
I also doubt conscious balancing efforts are involved. So some training effect is there but a lot more study is needed.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro View Post

back in 2000 a study at U of Grenoble studied the effect of vibration on world class racers. Early fatigue was one significant result. This in turn spurred a lot of dampers being added to boots and skis. My supposition is that more very small and rapid muscle activity must be happening and this would explain the early fatigue.
I am unsure if experts would need more micro adjustment training and the elimination of vibration that has occurred over the last fifteen years suggest it is not considered a positive.
I also doubt conscious balancing efforts are involved. So some training effect is there but a lot more study is needed.

I remember that study, but this is something different.  They are using vibrations in the audible frequencies at a level just below the threshold of what people feel.  Apparently it makes people more aware of the sensations in their feet, and therefore they balance better.  Sounds perfect for ski training.

 

BK

post #8 of 9

Quote:

Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

Why don't the summarize these things in plain English?

 

The procedure was as follows:

 

Stick a glowing dot on the persons shoulder, and capture its location with a camera.

 

Have subject stand on silicone "insole"  (insole has three spots that vibrate)

Have the subject adjust the level of mechanical vibration till they can barely feel it.

Reduce the amount of vibration to 90% of what the subject reported being able to feel.

  Subject should no longer be able to tell if vibration is off or on; Test can now proceed "blinded".

 

Randomly turn the vibration ON or OFF for a period of time. 

Repeat 20 times for "youths" 10 times for elderly.

Measure how much the dot on subject's shoulder moves:

  With vibration ON

  With vibration OFF

 

Report that:

  Young people sway about 75% as much as old people

  Young and old people show a 10% decrease in swaying with the devices on.  (The amount of "swept area" the dot moves through decreased by ~10% for old and young on average).

 

 

THEORY on how/why it works FOLLOWS:

The vibration supplies some of the activation energy required for motor neuron firing.  With vibration on, the body feels/reacts to the actual swaying "faster".

 

 

 

Applications to skiing/sport:  None directly from this study.  Dynamic balance wasn't tested, and the improvement in static balance doesn't seem to actually change quality of life for people (the absolute amount of sway measured wasn't very high to begin with...).

 

@beyond - you have any insight here?

post #9 of 9

Thank you, Magi.  That was a very helpful translation.

I wonder why the article continually uses the word "noise" 32 times.

I tried to figure out how the subjects could hear the noise, since it was

adjusted to only 90% of their detection level.


Now I realize the noise was not sound created by vibrations, but

the vibrations themselves.

 

 

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