The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the dual task paradigm would influence arm movements during walking. Furthermore, we examined the effects of different walking surfaces on arm movements while performing dual tasks. The effects of age and gender were also investigated. Fifteen young adults and 15 older adults were included in this study. Subjects were asked to perform the walking task alone (single-task trial) and walking in combination with a cognitive task (dual-task trial). Four walking conditions (1 single task and 3 dual task trials) × two walking surfaces were encountered. Both age groups had greater elbow and trunk movement in the sagittal plane under the dual task trials as compared to the single task trial (p< .05). Subjects had greater upper extremity and upper body movement on the soft floor than on the hard floor (p< .05). Subjects had greater movement amplitude when confronting a challenging environment, especially in the contralateral side. Among gender, there was a group-gender interaction: the older females had smaller upper extremity movement than the older males (p< .05) but the opposite was true for the young adults. The results suggest that different age groups of males and females use different balance control strategy to deal with the challenging conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology