Back to Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 7

The effect of a cognitive-motor intervention on voluntary step execution under single and dual task conditions in older adults: a randomized controlled pilot study

Authors Pichierri G, Coppe, Lorenzetti, Murer, de Bruin E 

Received 3 April 2012

Accepted for publication 19 May 2012

Published 10 July 2012 Volume 2012:7 Pages 175—184


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Giuseppe Pichierri,1 Amos Coppe,1 Silvio Lorenzetti,2 Kurt Murer,1 Eling D de Bruin1

1Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland; 2Institute for Biomechanics, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Background: This randomized controlled pilot study aimed to explore whether a cognitive-motor exercise program that combines traditional physical exercise with dance video gaming can improve the voluntary stepping responses of older adults under attention demanding dual task conditions.
Methods: Elderly subjects received twice weekly cognitive-motor exercise that included progressive strength and balance training supplemented by dance video gaming for 12 weeks (intervention group). The control group received no specific intervention. Voluntary step execution under single and dual task conditions was recorded at baseline and post intervention (Week 12).
Results: After intervention between-group comparison revealed significant differences for initiation time of forward steps under dual task conditions (U = 9, P = 0.034, r = 0.55) and backward steps under dual task conditions (U = 10, P = 0.045, r = 0.52) in favor of the intervention group, showing altered stepping levels in the intervention group compared to the control group.
Conclusion: A cognitive-motor intervention based on strength and balance exercises with additional dance video gaming is able to improve voluntary step execution under both single and dual task conditions in older adults.

Keywords: fall prevention, exercise, dance, video game

Creative Commons License © 2012 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.