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for sports organisations and
allied health professionals

Concussion screening and monitoring

Getting a baseline balance measurement is useful for sports clubs and allied health professionals involved in monitoring and managing concussion.

The BESS Balance Mat builds on the traditional stances of the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) used worldwide for testing athletes for assessment and management of concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI) but omits the foam normally used in the manual test in favour of 6mm of rubberised mat surface.

It enables three 20-second balance tests with the person’s eyes closed while standing on the computerised mat in the feet-together, tandem and one-legged (nondominant-leg) stances.

A three-in-one, eyes-closed balance tester

Test 1. Feet-together stance

A balance test in the feet-together stance with the person’s eyes closed gives a baseline balance measurement for concussion care. A score of zero indicates zero postural sway and implies the person has excellent balance (and no concussion), while higher scores indicate poorer balance (and the possibility of concussion).

Test 2. Tandem stance

The tandem stance test involves the person standing with one foot in front of the other, heel to toe, with their eyes closed. It tests lateral postural stability by narrowing the base of support and gives valuable information about the person’s sense of positioning, or proprioception, and motor coordination. As for the feet-together stance, scores (and poor balance) increase with concussion.

Test 3. Single-leg (nondominant leg) stance

The single-leg (nondominant leg) stance with the person’s eyes closed reduces the base of support and makes it more challenging to stay balanced. Like the tandem stance, this standing position gives vestibular and neuro-rehab practitioners more information about how well the brain and body are communicating with each other.

Associate Professor in Physiotherapy from Flinders University Dr James McLoughlin advised on the development of the BESS Balance Mat, which is being used alongside Neuroflex virtual reality headsets testing members of the North Adelaide Football Club – a leader in concussion management – and other clubs, now as part of Your Brain Health. James and the team have been using the Balance Mat since December 2022.


      • Get a baseline balance measurement

      • Take the guesswork out of assessing balance

      • Manage concussion better