Static and dynamic single leg postural control performance during dual-task paradigms

Maria K. Talarico, Robert C. Lynall, Timothy C. Mauntel, Paul S. Weinhold, Darin A. Padua, Jason P. Mihalik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Combining dynamic postural control assessments and cognitive tasks may give clinicians a more accurate indication of postural control under sport-like conditions compared to single-task assessments. We examined postural control, cognitive and squatting performance of healthy individuals during static and dynamic postural control assessments in single- and dual-task paradigms. Thirty participants (female = 22, male = 8; age = 20.8 ± 1.6 years, height = 157.9 ± 13.0 cm, mass = 67.8 ± 20.6 kg) completed single-leg stance and single-leg squat assessments on a force plate individually (single-task) and concurrently (dual-task) with two cognitive assessments, a modified Stroop test and the Brooks Spatial Memory Test. Outcomes included centre of pressure speed, 95% confidence ellipse, squat depth and speed and cognitive test measures (percentage of correct answers and reaction time). Postural control performance varied between postural control assessments and testing paradigms. Participants did not squat as deep and squatted slower (P < 0.001) during dual-task paradigms (≤12.69 ± 3.4 cm squat depth, ≤16.20 ± 4.6 cm · s−1 squat speed) compared to single-task paradigms (14.57 ± 3.6 cm squat depth, 19.65 ± 5.5 cm · s−1 squat speed). The percentage of correct answers did not change across testing conditions, but Stroop reaction time (725.81 ± 59.2 ms; F2,58 = 7.725, P = 0.001) was slowest during single-leg squats compared to baseline (691.64 ± 80.1 ms; P = 0.038) and single-task paradigms (681.33 ± 51.5 ms; P < 0.001). Dynamic dual-task assessments may be more challenging to the postural control system and may better represent postural control performance during dynamic activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1124
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 3 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Reaction time
  • Stroop test
  • functional assessments


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