Impact of cognitive fatigue on gait and sway among older adults: A literature review

Stephanie Grobe, Rumit Singh Kakar, Matthew Lee Smith, Ranjana Mehta, Timothy Baghurst, Ali Boolani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Cognitive fatigue is an alteration in central nervous system (CNS) processing due to prolonged performance of mentally demanding tasks. Decreased gait speed and increased stride length variability have been noted in cognitively fatigued older adults (≥ 65 years). Further, cognitive fatigue may weaken the visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive systems of the CNS, contributing to increased postural sway. Detriments in gait and sway caused by cognitive fatigue could increase fall risk. The objective of this literature review was to evaluate the impact of cognitive fatigue on changes in gait and postural sway and its role in fall risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Cognitive fatigue
  • Elderly
  • Fall risk
  • Falls
  • Gait
  • Mental fatigue
  • Older adults
  • Sway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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