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Balance vs. Stability: What’s the Difference?

A lot of people use the words “balance” and “stability” interchangeably. VoxxLife’s Human Performance Technology (HPT) is designed to improve both your balance and stability, but how you use it might change depending on which one you struggle with.

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How Balance and Stability Are Different Concepts

Here’s the difference: balance is your ability to hold a position without any interference from gravity. So standing still and sitting down are affected by your balance. If you can sit in a chair without falling over, you have good balance!

Stability, on the other hand, is how well you can get back to a balanced position after movement, and especially after any kind of force. For example, being able to recover after tripping, or to jog in a straight line would be a test of stability.

Imagine you’re sitting on a chair; the chair doesn’t have any backing, but you’re able to sit up straight in it. This reflects your ability to balance, because gravity is only keeping you in place. As you get up to move away, you trip on the chair leg. Now that gravity is causing you to fall towards the floor, it becomes a test of stability. You catch yourself and, a moment later, you’re standing still—you’re balanced.

We can see how balance and stability are closely related, and part of the reason for this is because both are coordinated by the same region of the brain: the cerebellum. Your balance, movement, and bodily coordination are all managed by this one area, which takes its cues from the brainstem. The brainstem connects to the cerebellum through pathways called cerebellar peduncles. Because of this connection, problems with the brainstem can lead to feelings of dizziness and vertigo!

Mobility and Stability Exercises

Thanks to the connection between the cerebellum and the brainstem, HPT can have a positive effect on your balance and stability. That pattern, embedded in our sock, insole, and Super Patch products, sends neural signals to the brainstem that improve the wearer’s neural health. Thanks to the connection between these two important regions of the brain, wearing HPT products is a great way to improve balance and stability.

You don’t have to stop there, though—a good mobility and stability workout can further improve these functions for your own health and happiness. Here are a few exercises you can try:

  • Squats – A squat is when you lower your hips while standing, as low as you can go, before reversing the movement. If you feel like your stability could use a boost, you can put a chair in front of you and hold onto it as you stretch.
  •  “Tightrope” Walking – Place a piece of tape, rope, or other marking on the floor, and try to walk across it, landing your feet on the material each time (there’s no need to walk on an actual tightrope!). You can mimic the movement easily as you try to walk in a perfectly straight line.
  • Walking – Often, plain old walking is the mobility or stability workout you need. Taking time to walk is an amazing thing to do!
  • One Limb at a Time – This is a simple balancing exercise: begin with your feet together, arms at rest. Begin with the right side of your body; raise your arm above your head, then lift your foot from the floor. Hold the position for fifteen seconds, and repeat with the left side of your body.

We tested the effect Voxx HPT has on balance and stability. When our subjects performed mobility and stability exercises wearing our HPT, they were 31% more stable.

It’s important to understand how balance and stability are different concepts so you can more easily assess and react to how each one is working out for you. Balance, mobility, and stability are all important for your physical and mental health, so be sure to wear your VoxxLife socks and live healthily and actively!

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