Background Effective spatial orientation and postural control requires the integration of proprioceptive, vestibular, and visual inputs. Older people have been reported to rely on vision more than on other sensory systems for orientation and balance. However, the effects of visual dependence on sensorimotor functions have not been thoroughly evaluated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of higher visual dependence on balance and functional mobility in community-dwelling healthy older adults over 60 years old. Methods Twenty-four older adults were categorized into two groups with higher and lower visual dependence regarding their values of subjective visual vertical (SVV) tilt by the Rod and Disc test. Static balance was assessed by postural sway under 6 sensory conditions, dynamic balance by functional forward and lateral reach tests, and functional mobility by the Timed up and go (TUG) test. Results The results showed only significant difference in postural sway acceleration under the condition of standing on foam while looking at rotating image; in contrast, there was similarity in age, functional reach distance, TUG time, and sway acceleration in conditions which only one sense was altered between groups. Conclusion These findings suggest that visual dependence might negatively influence static balancing tasks where visual and proprioceptive inputs are unreliable. Unaffected dynamic balance and functional mobility might be caused by a lack of visual components in the tests to challenge visual dependence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology