This study investigated whether cognitive processing is influenced by stepping in place, particularly according to its frequency. Fourteen healthy young participants performed the Stroop test during stepping in place at various frequencies. Results showed the following: (a) performances on the Stroop test and at stepping in place at 1, 2, and 3 Hz were not so mutually influential, (b) performing the Stroop test degraded the timing of stepping in place at 4 Hz, (c) stepping at 0.5 Hz interfered with the cognitive processing involved with perceiving and naming colors but not with inhibitory control. These results imply that stepping in place is differentially controlled between walking at 1–4 Hz and at 0.5 Hz, the latter of which demands more attention.
The authors are with the Dept. of Special Needs Education, Tokyo Gakugei University, Tokyo, Japan.