Unit 4: Maintaining Balance

Warning sign indicating a rough walking surface, which isn’t a problem for animals with more stable body types, such as cats and dogs. Image Credit: National Park Service


As an RN on MED floor, Jolene assesses each patient’s fall risk according to the Morse Fall Scale, provide a nursing diagnosis (ND) for fall risk, and implement fall precautions based on the ND. The human body typically operates in many positions that are not very stable and we  must constantly use our muscles to adjust our body position and counteract the tendency of our bodies to fall over. We often refer to this skill as balance. For the most part balance is subconscious, but watching a toddler who has just learned to walk will provide an amplified idea of how much actual work is required for humans to stay upright. Throughout this unit and the associated lab we will investigate the various physics concepts that influence the stability of the body and our ability to maintain balance, including various types of forces, net force, torque, net torque, and types of stability. The learner outcomes for this unit are listed below, and below that are some related key terms to watch out for as you complete the chapter.

Learner Objectives

  1. Define center of gravity, support base, normal force (support force), static friction and kinetic friction.[2]
  2. Compare the relative torque applied to objects by various forces.[2]
  3. Identify the type of equilibrium exhibited by various structures and rank their relative stability.[2]
  4. Apply static equilibrium concepts to determine forces in physical situations, including normal force and friction.[3]



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Body Physics 2.0 Copyright © by Lawrence Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book