The effect of cognitive dual tasks on balance during walking in physically fit elderly people.
until further notice
SourceArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 88, 2, (2007), pp. 187-191
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology, Biostatistics & HTA
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; EBP 4: Quality of Care; IGMD 5: Health aging / healthy living; NCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue; NCEBP 11: Alzheimer Centre; NCEBP 14: Cardiovascular diseases; NCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCEBP 4: Quality of hospital and integrated care; NCEBP 6:Quality of nursing and allied health care; UMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology; UMCN 3.2: Cognitive neurosciences; NCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect on balance of 3 different cognitive dual tasks performed while walking without and with standardization for gait velocity, and measured with both foot placements and trunk movements. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Community. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-nine physically fit elderly people (mean age, 73.5y). INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Stride length and time variability measured with an electronic walkway, body sway measured with an angular velocity instrument, and gait velocity. RESULTS: Overall, dual tasks resulted in decreased gait velocity (1.46 to 1.23m/s, P<.001), increased stride length (1.4% to 2.6%), and time variability (1.3% to 2.3%) (P<.001), and had no significant effect on body sway. After standardization for gait velocity, the dual tasks were associated with increased body sway (111% to 216% of values during walking without dual task, P<.001) and increased stride length and time variability (41% to 223% increase, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: In physically fit elderly people, cognitive dual tasks influence balance control during walking directly as well as indirectly through decreased gait velocity. Dual tasks increase stride variability with both mechanisms, but the increase in body sway is only visible after standardization for gait velocity. The decreased gait velocity can be a strategy with which to maintain balance during walking in more difficult circumstances.
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