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|Title:||Cognitive and visual demands, but not gross motor demand, of concurrent smartphone use affect laboratory and free-living gait among young and older adults|
|Keywords:||Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology|
|Abstract:||© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Background: As smartphones are an integral part of daily activities, understanding the underlying mechanism associated with concurrent cell phone use while walking may help reduce the risks of injury. Research question: This study examined the effect of cognitive, visual, and gross motor demands while using a phone during gait among young and older adults in the laboratory and free-living environments. Methods: Twelve young and twelve older adults walked along a 10-m walkway under five conditions: single-task walking (Walk), walking and bi-manually holding a phone (Walk-Hold), walking while looking at a phone held in front of the participants (Walk-Look), walking while answering questions (Walk-Answer), and walking while texting (Walk-Text). All conditions were performed in laboratory and free-living environments. Gait velocity, step time, step length, and cadence were obtained using a smartphone with a built-in accelerometer attached to the body. The dual-task cost (DTC) was also assessed. A three-way ANOVA was utilized for all parameters. Results: While no three-way interactions were found for any parameter, group × condition interactions were significant for gait velocity, step time, step length, cadence and their corresponding DTC. Decreased gait velocity, step length and cadence, with increased step time was demonstrated during Walk-Look, Walk-Answer, and Walk-Text, compared to Walk and Walk-Hold. While older adults markedly changed their gait during Walk-Answer and Walk-Text, these changes were less pronounced among young adults. Significance: Visual and cognitive demand while concurrently using a phone influenced gait, especially among the elderly. Environment did not accentuate gait alterations during concurrent phone use. Therefore, smartphone technology should be developed to detect dual-task walking and temporarily modify functionality to reduce risk of injury from divided attention.|
|Appears in Collections:||CMUL: Journal Articles|
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