Objectives: With increasing age, declines in executive functions and basic motor skills such as posture control, muscle strength, and balance performance have been observed. However, no intervention has focused on enhancing both executive functions and balance performance concomitantly. Accordingly, the aim of the present study is to investigate whether and to what extent two different dual-task interventions improved both working memory and balancing. Specifically, we examined whether either a motor-cognitive dual task training (mCdtt) or a motor-motor dual-task training (mMdtt) impacted more favorably on working memory and on balance performance among a sample of older adults.Methods: A total of 60 older males (mean age: 68.31 years; SD = 3.83) were randomly assigned either to the mCdtt, the mMdtt or to control condition. Balance performance and working memory performance were tested at baseline, four weeks later at study completion, and again 12 weeks later at follow-up.Results: Balance and working memory improved from baseline to post-intervention and to follow-up (significant Time effect), but more so in the mCdtt compared to the mMdtt condition (significant Time × Group interaction). Further, compared to the mMdtt condition, higher scores were observed in the mCdtt condition (significant Group effect).Conclusion: Dual-task interventions improved both balance performance and working memory, but more so if cognitive performance was specifically trained along with resistance training.
Keywords: Older adults; balance performance; cognitive training; dual task training; resistance training; working memory performance.