The effect of cell phone use on postural balance and mobility in older compared to young adults.
Physiol Behav. 2017 05 1 ;173:293-297. Epub 2017 Feb 24. PMID: 28238776
Cell phone use is considered as an essential part of everyday life saturating all age groups and demographics. This study aimed to explore the effect of various cell phone functions on postural control and mobility in the elderly. Twenty healthy older (mean age 72.5±2.9) and twenty young (26.3±2.8) adults participated in this study. Postural balance was assessed by measuring the center of pressure (CoP) displacement with (talking on a cell phone (CONVERSE), dialing a number (DIAL) and listening to music (MUSIC)) and without cell phone use. Mobility was assessed by the Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT). Results showed that for both groups, the CoP parameters increased significantly during the CONVERSE (p<0.001) and the DIAL (CoP, CoP: p<0.05; CoP: p<0.01) conditions compared to the control condition. Moreover, the CoPvalues were significantly higher during the CONVERSE condition in comparison to the DIAL (p<0.05) one. In older adults, the TUGT scores increased significantly in the DIAL (p<0.01) condition compared to the CONVERSE and the MUSIC conditions. In conclusion, cell phone use impairs similarly standing postural balance of elderly and young adults. Interestingly, in the elderly, all cell phone functions used altered mobility with the dialing function causing the largest mobility deterioration.