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What is balance?

The dictionary distinguishes between physical balance, psychological or mental balance and chemical balance. In this article we would like to take a closer look at balance and the sense of balance in the biological, i.e. physical, sense. The sense of balance is made up of several individual senses. These include the vestibular organ (see below) - it detects the direction from which gravity or acceleration is coming - sight or the perception of where we are in a room, the sense of touch and the recognition of depth.

A person can achieve a stable body state with a balanced weight distribution both at rest and in motion. This is usually achieved through sophisticated muscular coordination. The sense of balance recognizes whether a body state is actually in balance based on the perceptions of the vestibular organ.

What is a vestibular system?

The vestibular system is located in the inner ear. It is a sophisticated system that detects and recognizes movements and accelerations in all directions. It is a type of tube system (semicircular canals) that is filled with fluid. This tube system is in turn connected to sensory cells.

When the head moves, the fluid in the semicircular canals moves. This is perceived by the sensory cells and passed on to the brain, where this information is compared with the information from the sense of balance, the cerebellum and the spinal cord.

If there is no disturbance, the vestibular system recognizes quite accurately whether a person is in balance, whether a body does not fall over despite movement, in which direction a person is moving or what needs to be balanced in the movement so that everything is in balance or the person is in balance.

Where do balance disorders come from?

First of all, balance is something you have to learn. This is easy to see in small children who often fall over when they first learn to walk.

Now, even if a person has a well-trained sense of balance, they can still have balance problems, for example if they get dizzy because they turn too quickly. In this case, it is difficult for the brain to compare the information from the ear with that from the eye quickly enough. Something similar happens when you drive a car and you get motion sick. Even though you are sitting still in the car, your eyes register very fast movements. The brain then reacts with confusion and sends out the wrong signals.

The same can happen in stressful situations, for example when you are under a lot of pressure at work or at home. What throws a person off balance mentally can actually affect the body. In this case too, the brain cannot correctly classify or process the information coming from the balance organs in the ears. As with physical imbalance, the consequences are dizziness, nausea and even serious balance disorders.

In rare cases, an illness is the cause of balance disorders.

How can you train your balance?

Apart from mental exercises, there are a lot of balance exercises that can be used to train your balance and sense of equilibrium. At the same time, posture, coordination and concentration are improved. The exercises are about activating and strengthening the deep muscles of the back and torso.

This is also very easy to do while sitting with seating that allows three-dimensional movement, such as the Swopper from Aeris. By constantly changing postures, the deep muscles are also stressed and trained, which is beneficial for balance.

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