Increased Load Computerized Dynamic Posturography in Prefrail and Nonfrail Community-Dwelling Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The understanding of prefrail and nonfrail older adults’ postural control with and without increased environmental and cognitive stress is imperative to the development of targeted interventions to decrease fall risk within these populations. Thirty-eight individuals participated in this study. Postural control testing included the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) on a NeuroCom EquiTest. Cognitive and environmental load testing was performed during Condition 6 of the SOT. Though there were no group differences on composite equilibrium score (p = .06), the cognitive task (Stroop task) impaired equilibrium scores more than the auditory or visual distracter tasks (p < .05 and p < .01) for both groups. These results suggest that both prefrail and nonfrail older adults’ postural control is reduced in demanding environments. Given these findings, the need for multimodal exercise interventions to target both physical and cognitive factors is apparent.

Biggan, Melton, Ricard, Keller, and Ray are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX. Horvat is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.