Background and Purpose: Reduced mobility and a higher risk of falls among older adults are related to aging-associated sensory alteration. Sensory responsiveness (SR) has been found to be strongly correlated with postural control in studies on young adults in stimulating environments; however, SR has not been studied in the context of mobility among older adults, despite its potential to enhance fall risks. The aim of the current study is to characterize the associations between SR and gait under single and dual-task (ST, DT) conditions inside and outside the laboratory. Methods: Twenty-six community-dwelling older adults (age 70.3 ± 4.6 years, 65.4% women) participated in this cross-sectional study. Gait variables were measured using the APDM system under single and dual task conditions, in a quiet corridor inside and in an ecological (outside) environment. SR was evaluated using the SR questionnaire and cogni-tion was assessed with the Trail-Making Test and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Results: SR was negatively associated with gait speed during ST (rs = −0.491, p < 0.05) and DT (rs = −0.528, p < 0.01) outside and with ST gait speed inside (rs = −0.528, p < 0.01). SR was positively associated with gait variability under DT (rs = 0.41, p < 0.05) and with DT cost (rs = 0.44, p < 0.05) only outside. Conclusion: SR may play an important role in understanding mobility deterioration throughout the aging process, especially outside, illuminating the importance of SR evalua-tion among older adults during mobility assessment. Therefore, accounting for SR in gait research may contribute to a better understanding of mobility decline throughout the aging process.
- Sensory processing
- Sensory responsiveness