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

Clin Interv Aging. 2012;7:175-84. doi: 10.2147/CIA.S32558. Epub 2012 Jul 10.


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: dance; exercise; fall prevention; video game.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition*
  • Dancing / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Episodic
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods
  • Switzerland
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Video Games