Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Cindy Flom-Meland


Postural Balance; Exercise


Background and Purpose: Cerebral vascular accident (CV A) is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 75% of people who have a stroke survive, many of whom live with some level of impairments that impact their activities of daily living and quality of life. One of the results of these impairments can be decreased balance. Limitations in balance may impact an individual's risk of falls, ability to ambulate, and performance of functional activities. Exercises emphasizing balance training playa significant role in improving postural control. The purpose of this study is to determine if the six -week "Get Off Your Rocker" balance exercise class improves balance and quality of life in people who have had a CV A and who live in the community. If the "Get Off Your Rocker" exercise class is found to be effective for this population, it can be an additional tool for physical therapists in improving balance.

Subjects: The two subjects who participated in the study had a neurological diagnosis of CVA. Both subjects were older than 20 years of age, lived in the community, and ambulated independently.

Methods: Four measures were used to gather data regarding balance and quality of life. During the initial testing session, subjects completed the Timed Up and Go, Functional Reach, Berg Balance Measure, and Short Form 36 Health Survey. Subjects then participated in the "Get Off Your Rocker" balance exercise class three times a week for six consecutive weeks. Following the exercise class, the assessment measures were repeated.

Results: Subjects demonstrated both quantitative and qualitative improvements. Both participants showed improvements on all four of the measures.

Conclusion: Following participation in the six-week "Get Off Your Rocker" balance exercise class, we concluded that it was beneficial in improving balance for people following a CVA. This class can be an effective tool for balance training and increasing functional capacities leading to enhanced quality of life.