Postural sway increases with attentional demands of concurrent cognitive task

Gait Posture. 2003 Aug;18(1):29-34. doi: 10.1016/s0966-6362(02)00138-8.


The purpose of the present project was to determine whether postural sway varied with the difficulty of a concurrent unrelated cognitive task. Participants stood on a compliant surface under four conditions of varied attentional demand. Information reduction tasks (digit reversal, digit classification, counting backward by 3s) were used to quantify the attentional demands of the cognitive activity. Results showed attentional demands of the cognitive task impacted postural sway, with the most difficult cognitive task having the greatest influence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis*