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Changes of Gait Variability by the Attention Demanding Task in Elderly Adults
J Kor Phys Ther 2017;29(6):303-306
Published online December 30, 2017;
© 2017 The Korea Society of Physical Therapy.

Sang Seok Yeo

Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Sciences, Dankook University, Cheonan-si, Korea
Sang Seok Yeo
Received November 8, 2017; Revised December 13, 2017; Accepted December 15, 2017.
This is an Open Access article distribute under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution,and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: Gait variability is defined as the intrinsic fluctuations which occur during continuous gait cycles. Increased gait variability is closely associated with increased fall risk in older adults. This study investigated the influence of attention-demanding tasks on gait variability in elderly healthy adults.
Methods: We recruited 15 healthy elderly adults in this study. All participants performed two cognitive tasks: a subtraction dual-task (SDT) and working memory dual-task (WMDT) during gait plus one normal gait. Using the LEGSys+ system, we measured the coefficient of variation (CV %=100×[standard deviation/mean]) for participants’ stride time, stride length, and stride velocity.
Results: SDT gait showed significant increment of stride time variability compared with usual gait (p〈0.05), however, stride length and velocity variability did not difference between SDT gait and usual gait (p〉0.05). WMDT gait showed significant increment of stride time and velocity variability compared with usual gait (p〈0.05). In addition, stride time variability during WMDT gait also significantly increased compared with SDT gait (p〈0.05).
Conclusion: We reported that SDT and WMDT gait can induce the increment of the gait variability in elderly adults. We assume that attention demanding task based on working memory has the most influence on the interference between cognitive and gait function. Understanding the changes during dual task gait in older ages would be helpful for physical intervention strategies and improved risk assessment.
Keywords : Dual task, Attention demanding task, Working memory, Gait analysis, Aging

December 2017, 29 (6)
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Funding Information
  • National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF)
  • Ministry of Education, Science and Technology(Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology)