Effects of Dual Task on Balance Stability in Healthy Young Adults During Steady State and Gait Initiation


May 2023


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The goal of this thesis is to investigate dual task effects on anticipatory postural adjustment (APA) outcomes to define and correlate to good balance and stability indicators during gait initiation. Spatiotemporal parameters and joint kinematic outcomes during steady-state gait will be investigated to validate the gait initiation findings and characterize healthy responses to dual task. By identifying these characteristics, strategies to minimize falls in vulnerable populations can be taken. In current literature, low gait speed during steady state is associated with fall risk populations; however, low gait speed does not inherently cause the fall itself. Previous studies have explored research into gait initiation being a causative factor, specifically anticipatory postural adjustment outcomes. Research has suggested that gait initiation can provide indicators of fall risk due to its important process associated with stability. With previous research focusing on older adults and different conditions, healthy responses to APA remains unclear. In this thesis, the APA outcomes of loading phase of the stepping limb, time to execute gait initiation, and center of mass displacement were significant outcomes following dual task conditions. The study has resulted in the interpretation that APA is normative process in gait initiation; however, there is an optimal goldilocks range of APA. The results of these findings could pose to provide training measures to improve balance that in line prevents falls.



Engineering, Biomedical