The correlation between physical and emotional stabilities: a cross-sectional observational preliminary study

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Background: Postural stability and gait are affected by an individual’s emotional state. Physical therapy practice does not usually include an explicit assessment of the individual’s emotional status. In contrast, complementary movement therapies often include the assessment of “grounding quality”, which refers to the individual’s physical and emotional stabilities. This study examined the correlation between conventional physical stability measures and grounding quality. Method: A computerized balance board and an inertial sensor system measured the postural stability and gait parameters of 36 healthy volunteers (aged 19–35 years). Grounding was assessed using an observation-based assessment tool (Grounding Assessment Tool [GAT]). Spearman’s correlation and Cohen’s standard were used to assess correlation. Results: No correlation was observed between gait parameters and GAT scores. However, significant negative moderate correlations were noted between postural sway measures and scores of several GAT items in the more demanding stance conditions. Conclusion: Although grounding quality and sway measures are somewhat correlated, they focus on different aspects of movement stability. A comprehensive assessment and holistic intervention strategies require incorporating multiple approaches to stability assessment. Further research is necessary to determine the contribution of combining these approaches among individuals with balance impairments.KEY MESSAGES Gait stability measures were not correlated to “grounding quality” (a measure of emotional regulation and emotional awareness). Postural sway measures were found to be correlated to “grounding quality” items in the more demanding stance conditions. A comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s stability may facilitate reliable and valid objective measurement instruments for both physical and emotional aspects of the movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1678-1685
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Postural stability
  • assessment
  • balance
  • emotional awareness
  • gait
  • grounding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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