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Effect of Single-Leg Squat Speed and Depth on Dynamic Postural Control Under Single-Task and Dual-Task Paradigms

Maria K. Talarico, Robert C. Lynall, Timothy C. Mauntel, Erin B. Wasserman, Darin A. Padua, and Jason P. Mihalik

Although single-leg squats are a common dynamic balance clinical assessment, little is known about the relationship between parameters that influence squat movement and postural control performance. The objective of this study was to determine the relationships between squat parameters (speed and depth) and postural control under single task and dual task. A total of 30 healthy college students performed single-leg squats under single task and dual task with Stroop. Random-intercepts generalized linear mixed models determined the effect of squat parameters on center of pressure (CoP) parameters. For each 1-cm·s−1 increase in squat speed, sway range (mediolateral: β = −0.03; anteroposterior: β = −0.05) and area (β = −0.25) decreased, whereas sway speed (mediolateral: β = 0.05; anteroposterior: β = 0.29; total: β = 0.29) increased. For each 1-cm increase in squat depth, sway range (mediolateral: β = 0.05; anteroposterior: β = 0.20) and area (β = 0.72) increased, whereas sway speed (anteroposterior: β = −0.14; total: β = −0.14) decreased. Compared with single task, the association between total and anteroposterior sway speed and squat speed was stronger under dual task. Clinicians and researchers should consider monitoring squat speed and depth when assessing dynamic balance during single-leg squats, as these parameters influence postural control, especially under dual task.

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Reliability and Minimal Detectable Change for a Smartphone-Based Motor-Cognitive Assessment: Implications for Concussion Management

David R. Howell, Corrine N. Seehusen, Mathew J. Wingerson, Julie C. Wilson, Robert C. Lynall, and Vipul Lugade

Our purpose was to investigate the reliability and minimal detectable change characteristics of a smartphone-based assessment of single- and dual-task gait and cognitive performance. Uninjured adolescent athletes (n = 17; mean age = 16.6, SD = 1.3 y; 47% female) completed assessments initially and again 4 weeks later. The authors collected data via an automated smartphone-based application while participants completed a series of tasks under (1) single-task cognitive, (2) single-task gait, and (3) dual-task cognitive-gait conditions. The cognitive task was a series of continuous auditory Stroop cues. Average gait speed was consistent between testing sessions in single-task (0.98, SD = 0.21 vs 0.96, SD = 0.19 m/s; P = .60; r = .89) and dual-task (0.92, SD = 0.22 vs 0.89, SD = 0.22 m/s; P = .37; r = .88) conditions. Response accuracy was moderately consistent between assessments in single-task standing (82.3% accurate, SD = 17.9% vs 84.6% accurate, SD = 20.1%; P = .64; r = .52) and dual-task gait (89.4% accurate, SD = 15.9% vs 85.8% accurate, SD = 20.2%; P = .23; r = .81) conditions. Our results indicate automated motor-cognitive dual-task outcomes obtained within a smartphone-based assessment are consistent across a 1-month period. Further research is required to understand how this assessment performs in the setting of sport-related concussion. Given the relative reliability of values obtained, a smartphone-based evaluation may be considered for use to evaluate changes across time among adolescents, postconcussion.

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Weight Loss and Exercise Effects on Rate of Torque Development and Physical Function in Overweight Older Women

Ewan R. Williams, Chad R. Straight, Hannah K. Wilson, Robert C. Lynall, Chris M. Gregory, and Ellen M. Evans

Exercise training (EX) and weight loss (WL) improve lower extremity physical function (LEPF) in older overweight women; however, effects on rate of torque development (RTD) are unknown. This study aimed to determine the effects of WL + EX or WL alone on RTD, and relatedly LEPF, in overweight older women. Leg strength was assessed using isokinetic dynamometry, and RTD was calculated (RTD200 = RTD at 200 ms, RTDPeak = peak RTD, T2P = time to 1st peak). LEPF was determined via clinical functional tasks. Women (n = 44, 69.1 ± 3.6 years, 30.6 ± 4.3 kg/m2) completed a 6-month trial in EX + WL or WL groups with similar weight loss (−9.8 ± 4.2%, p > .95). EX + WL had greater improvements in (a) most LEPF tasks (p < .001) and (b) RTD200, compared with WL (36% vs. −16%, p = .031); no other RTD parameters differed. Changes in RTD parameters and LEPF were not related (all p > .05). RTD is responsive to EX but is not associated with LEPF in older women.