Effects of aging on eye-hand coordination and postural control

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Effects of aging on eye-hand coordination and postural control


Author: So, Kin-kan
Title: Effects of aging on eye-hand coordination and postural control
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Older people -- Health and hygiene.
Eye-hand coordination.
Posture disorders -- Age factors.
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xi, 49 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2174200
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/312
Abstract: Background and purpose: A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the effects of aging on eye-hand coordination and postural control. Healthy older subjects performed unilateral rapid aiming task using index finger to ipsilateral, middle, and contralateral targets appeared on a visual display unit in 1) sitting, 2) standing on stable surface, and 3) standing on foam supported surface positions and their performance was compared with those of young subjects. Subjects: Forty healthy older subjects (mean age +- standard deviation, 69.6 +- 5.7 years) were compared with 20 young healthy university students. Outcome measures: The reaction time, movement time, and accuracy while performing the aiming task in different postural positions were measured. The total sway path of center of pressure (COP) trajectory, peak amplitude, and mean velocity of postural sway in anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions while performing aiming task in both standing positions were recorded. Results: For eye-hand coordination, the older subjects showed significantly slower reaction time while aiming at the contralateral target in sitting (P = 0.004) and standing (P = 0.016) positions when compared with young subjects. Significantly slower reaction time were also found in older adults while aiming at the contralateral target (P = 0.021), center target (P = 0.010), and ipsilateral target (P = 0.002) between the 2 groups in standing on foam position. Overall slowing of movement time was found in older subjects while performing aiming task in all three postural positions (P = 0.014 in sitting, P = 0.006 in standing, and P = 0.001 in standing on foam). Older subjects only showed significantly less accuracy while aiming the contralateral target in standing on foam supported surface position (P = 0.036) when comparing with young subjects. For postural control, the older subject shown significantly greater total sway path (P = 0.018), peak amplitude (P = 0.002) and mean velocity (P = 0.003) in AP direction in static standing when compared with young subjects. No significant difference was found in percentage increase in postural sway during standing between young and older subjects. When standing on foam supported surface, significantly more increases in all outcome measure of postural control (p<0.05) except peak COP amplitude in AP direction were found in younger subjects comparing with older subjects. Conclusions: Age-related declines in eye-hand coordination performance, especially when aiming at contralateral target and in standing on foam supported surface.was observed in older subjects. Their postural sway in standing while performing the finger-pointing task increased, but decreased in standing on foam supported surface when compared with young subjects. The findings of this study suggest that training programs should be provided to older adults to maintain their high levels of physical functioning and independence in daily life in their eye-hand coordination under different postural demands. Caution should be taken when progression to a more demanding postural condition where older adults' reaction was slower and their posture became stiffer.

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