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Abstract

To test the hypothesis that postural control would be more affected by plantar flexors fatigue during acute exposure in hypobaric (HH) than in normobaric (NH) hypoxia or normobaric normoxia (NN). Twelve young male adults performed in a random order three experimental sessions (in HH and NH (FiO2 0.139) at an altitude of 2950 m, and in NN at 500 m) composed of a bipedal postural control with eyes open on a posturographic platform before and after a plantar flexors fatiguing protocol. Center of pressure (CoP) trajectory and stabilogramm diffusion analyses (SDA) parameters were assessed. A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to identify differences by examination of the group and time interaction. Surface of CoP trajectory analysis, increased at POST in HH (p < 0.001) and in NH (p < 0.01) compared to NN. SDA confirmed that PC was more altered in HH than in NH (p < 0.001) and NN (p < 0.05) at POST. The plantar flexor fatigue-induced alteration in postural control increased to a larger extent in HH than in NH or NN, suggesting an alleviating influence of the decreased barometric pressure per se and a mechanical influence of the higher breathing frequency in HH.

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