Published in

MDPI, Journal of Personalized Medicine, 9(11), p. 933, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/jpm11090933



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The Effects of Different Types of Dual Tasking on Balance in Healthy Older Adults

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Numerous of our daily activities are performed within multitask or dual task conditions. These conditions involve the interaction of perceptual and motor processes involved in postural control. Age-related changes may negatively impact cognition and balance control. Studies identifying changes related to dual-task actions in older people are need. This study aimed to determine the effects of different types of dual-tasking on the balance control of healthy older adults. The sample included 36 community-living older adults, performing two tests—a sway test and a timed up-and-go test—in three conditions: (a) single motor task; (b) dual motor task; and (c) dual motor task with cognitive demands. Cognitive processes (dual-task and cognition) affected static balance, increasing amplitude (p < 0.001) and frequency (p < 0.001) of the center of mass displacements. Dynamic balance revealed significant differences between the single motor condition and the other two conditions during gait phases (p < 0.001). The effect of dual-tasking in older adults suggests that cognitive processes are a main cause of increased variability in balance and gait when under an automatic control. During sit-to-stand, turning, and turn-to-sit movements under dual-tasking, the perceptive information becomes the most important focus of attention, while any cognitive task becomes secondary.