Cellular Telephone Dialing Influences Kinematic and Spatiotemporal Gait Parameters in Healthy Adults

Kelly M. Seymour, University of Delaware
Christopher I. Higginson, Loyola University Maryland
Kurt M. DeGoede, Elizabethtown College
Morgan K. Bifano, Loyola University Maryland
Rachel Orr, Loyola University Maryland
Jill S. Higginson, University of Delaware


Gait speed is typically reduced when individuals simultaneously perform other tasks. However, the impact of dual tasking on kinetic and kinematic gait parameters is unclear because these vary with gait speed. The objective of this study was to identify whether dual tasking impacts gait in healthy adults when speed is constant. Twenty-two healthy adults dialed a cell phone during treadmill walking at a self-selected speed while kinetic, kinematic, and spatial parameters were recorded. Results indicated that dual tasking did not impact phone dialing speed, but increased stride width, peak knee flexion during stance, and peak plantarflexion, and decreased knee and ankle range of motion. Dual tasking appears to influence kinematic gait variables in a manner consistent with promotion of stability.