Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/30148
Title: The effects of aging on postural control and selective attention when stepping down while performing a concurrent auditory response task
Authors: Tsang, WWN 
Lam, NKY
Lau, KNL
Leung, HCH
Tsang, CMS
Lu, X
Keywords: Aging
Balance
Cognition
Posture
Stairs
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Springer
Source: European journal of applied physiology, 2013, v. 113, no. 12, p. 3021-3026 How to cite?
Journal: European journal of applied physiology 
Abstract: Purpose: To investigate the effects of aging on postural control and cognitive performance in single- and dual-tasking. Methods: A cross-sectional comparative design was conducted in a university motion analysis laboratory. Young adults (n = 30; age 21.9 ± 2.4 years) and older adults (n = 30; age 71.9 ± 6.4 years) were recruited. Postural control after stepping down was measured with and without performing a concurrent auditory response task. Measurement included: (1) reaction time and (2) error rate in performing the cognitive task; (3) total sway path and (4) total sway area after stepping down. Results: Our findings showed that the older adults had significantly longer reaction times and higher error rates than the younger subjects in both the single-tasking and dual-tasking conditions. The older adults had significantly longer reaction times and higher error rates when dual-tasking compared with single-tasking, but the younger adults did not. The older adults demonstrated significantly less total sway path, but larger total sway area in single-leg stance after stepping down than the young adults. The older adults showed no significant change in total sway path and area between the dual-tasking and when compared with single-tasking conditions, while the younger adults showed significant decreases in sway. Conclusion: Older adults prioritize postural control by sacrificing cognitive performance when faced with dual-tasking.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/30148
ISSN: 1439-6319
EISSN: 1439-6327
DOI: 10.1007/s00421-013-2740-6
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