Local dynamic stability and gait variability during attentional tasks in young adults

R.M. Magnani, Georgia Lehnen, Fabio Rodrigues, Gustavo Souza, Adriano Andrade, Marcus Vieira

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cell phone use while walking may be a cognitive distraction and reduce visual and motor attention. Thus, the aim of this study was to verify the effects of attentional dual-tasks while using a cell phone in different conditions. Stability, regularity, and linear variability of trunk kinematics, and gait spatiotemporal parameters in young adults were measured. Twenty young subjects of both genders were asked to walk on a treadmill for 4 min under the following conditions: (a) looking forward at a fixed target 2.5 m away (walking); (b) talking on a cell phone with unilateral handling (talking); (c) texting messages on a cell phone with unilateral handling (texting); and (d) looking forward at the aforementioned target while listening to music without handling the phone (listening). Local dynamic stability measured in terms of the largest Lyapunov exponent decreased while handling a cell phone (talking and texting). Gait variability and regularity increased when talking on a cell phone, but no variable changed in the listening condition. Under all dual-task conditions, there were significant increases in stride width and its variability. We conclude that young adults who use a cell phone when walking adapt their gait pattern conservatively, which can be because of increased attentional demand during cell phone use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalGait and Posture
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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