What were you thinking?

We were just talking about cognitive tasking and arm swing, and have talked about cognition altering gait. Here is a another paper on cognition (or inattention in this case) boding not so well


ABSTRACT: We examined factors related to conditions of life function and falls, including eye movements and gait variability, in community-dwelling older adults in Japan.

METHODS: Participants were 82 older adults (21 men, 61 women, mean age 76.1 years). We measured eye movements and gait variability during walking, and cognitive, attentional and life function. We compared two groups according to their fall history, and used a multiple logistic regression analysis to determine its relevance.

RESULTS: Fixation time, which was estimated from eye movements during obstacle crossing, and gait variability (vertical) were significantly associated with falls. There was also a significant correlation between fixation time and gait variability during obstacle crossing. In other words, the higher the gait variability in older adults, the higher the risk of falls, which was due to reduced attention estimated from eye movements during obstacle crossing that required obstacle avoidance.

CONCLUSIONS: These results show that poor attention during gait is a critical risk factor for falls in community-dwelling older adults. For fall prevention, it is necessary to promote exercises for attention, and to maintain an older adult-friendly pedestrian environment.



Inoue T, Kamijo K, Haraguchi K, Suzuki A, Noto M, Yamashita Y, Nakamura T. Risk factors for falls in terms of attention during gait in community-dwelling older adults. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2018 Jun 27. doi: 10.1111/ggi.13462. [Epub ahead of print]