A pilot study: Effect of a novel dual-task treadmill walking program on balance, mobility, gaze and cognition in community dwelling older adults
A growing body of literature suggests that aging causes restrictions in mobility, gaze, and cognitive functions, increasing the risk of falls and adverse health events. A novel Dual-Task Treadmill walking (DT-TW) program was designed to train balance, gaze, cognition, and gait simultaneously. Eleven healthy community-dwelling older adults (age 70-80 yrs) were recruited to play a variety of computer games while standing on a sponge surface and walking on a treadmill. Data on centre of pressure (COP) excursion for core balance, spatio-temporal gait variability parameters, head tracking performances, and neuropsychological tests were collected pre and post intervention. A significant improvement in balance, gaze, cognition, and gait performance was observed under dual-task conditions. The study thus concludes that DT-TW is a novel intervention program which combines interactive games with exercises to train dual-task abilities in community dwelling older adults.