Effects of Varying Levels of Hypoxia on Balance and Sensory Function


Skyler Saunders

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

John Davis


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of varying levels of normobaric hypoxia on balance and sensory function. Seven healthy male subjects participated in the study after giving informed consent. Subjects were exposed to hypoxia simulating 9000 ft (MID), 16000 ft (HIGH) and while breathing ambient air (LOW) in a randomized order. A Higher Peak hypoxic generator was used to produce normobaric hypoxia. Subjects sat for 20 minutes while being exposed to one of the three previously mentioned levels of hypoxia and then tested on a Neurocom SMART Balance Master. This devise provided an assessment of the sensory and control of balance with visual biofeedback on either a stable or unstable support surface and in a stable or dynamic visual environment. This assessment can provide information on somatosensory, visual, and vestibular cues, and whether or not the subject could ignore inaccurate visual cues in a situation of visual conflict (PREF). A composite balance score was also determined. After completing the Neurocom trial, subjects exercised for 10 minutes (5 min walking at 3 mph and 5 min running at 6 mph) and then another Neurcom session was completed. Overall, balance was significantly impaired (P

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