Effects of aerobic fitness on cognitive performance as a function of dual-task demands in older adults

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the effects of aerobic fitness on cognitive performance under varying dual-task demands in older adults. Thirty-four participants (mean ± SD age: 68.6 ± 10.1 years, 24 females) were included in this study. VO 2 max was assessed with the Rockport 1-mile walk test (range = 6.68–45.57). Participants engaged in a cognitive task, the Modified Stroop Color Word Test (MSCWT) on a self-paced treadmill while simultaneously standing or walking. Performance on the Stroop Test was measured as interference of the accuracy score. Participants demonstrated over a 4-fold increase in SI when going from Incongruent to Switching MSCWT blocks across both standing and walking tasks. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between the MSCWT block and VO 2 max in Stroop interference, such that Switching Stroop interference demonstrated greater changes due to VO 2 max, in comparison to Incongruent SI, even after controlling for age, gender, body mass index, and years of education as covariates in analyses. These results provide evidence of a relationship between aerobic fitness and cognition, suggesting that dual-task interference may provide a sensitive indicator of effects of an aerobic intervention program on the cognitive performance among older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume118
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Aerobic
  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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