Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Barry Munkasy

Committee Member 1

Barry Joyner

Committee Member 2

Thomas Buckley


Context: Dynamic postural stability (DPS) is essential for skilled athletic performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation. However, there is limited research on whether DPS training on unstable or stable surfaces elicit greater DPS improvements. Objective: To determine whether training on stable (Wii Fit) or unstable (wobble board, WB) surfaces elicit greater DPS improvements compaired to controls. Design: A three group pre-post test study. Setting: This study was performed in a controlled laboratory setting. Subjects: 29 student-athletes (24 Female and 5 males, 19.8 + 0.89 years old, 1.72 + 0.06 m, 71.0 + 11.6 kg) participated in the study. Interventions: The subjects were randomly assigned to a Wii (n=9), WB (n=10), or Control group (n=10). Both the training groups participated in 12 supervised balance training sessions of 15 minutes each over four weeks. Main Outcome Measures: DPS was measured at pre and post training using the modified Star Excursion Balance Test (mSEBT, reliability .82 - .87) and the Dynamic Postural Stability Index (DPSI, Reliability .93). A change score (Post - Pre) was calculated for the mean reach length during the anterior (A-mSEBT), posterior medial (PM-mSEBT), and posterior lateral (PL-mSEBT) directions, total mSEBT scores (T-mSEBT). A change score (Post - Pre) was calculated for the mean Medial lateral stability index (MLSI), vertical stability index (VSI), anterior posterior stability index (APSI), and dynamic postural stability index (DPSI) and compared using a oneway a ANOVA with Tukey post-hoc. Subject's enjoyment of their training protocol was reported using the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (Reliability 0.70) and compared between Wii and WB utilizing oneway ANOVA. Results: For mSEBT significant main effects were noted for the PL-mSEBT (p=.003), A-mSEBT (p=.034), and T-mSEBT (p<.001). Post hoc testing identified both Wii and WB as outperforming control in the PL, and T-mSEBT and WB out performing control in A-mSEBT. Overall, there were no differences between Wii and WB for any of the measures. The Wii group reported a significantly higher level of enjoyment than the WB group (P=0.007). Conclusions: Both stable and unstable surfaces improve postural stability thus suggesting both are valuable tools to improve DPSI in collegiate student-athletes; however, Wii is more enjoyable than WB .