Movement self-consciousness is related to reduced balance outcomes in healthy older adults


Movement reinvestment reflects the tendency to direct attention to the control and/or perception of movement and is assessed using the Movement Specific Reinvestment Scale (MSRS). The MSRS has a conscious motor processing (CMP) subscale which reflects an individual’s tendency to consciously monitor and control his/her movements, and a movement self-consciousness (MSC) subscale which reflects an individual’s concern about how his/her movements look. To our knowledge, the relationship between movement reinvestment and perceived and actual balance outcomes in healthy older adults has not been studied. Thus, we examined these relationships in 130 healthy older adults (mean (SD) age = 66.1 (7.0) years). Participants completed the MSRS, the Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC; perceived balance), and 5 stance and walking tests (e.g., one-leg stance, normal walk with/without cognitive task, Timed-Up and Go, obstacle course). Duration was used to assess performance on all 5 tests. Bivariate correlations were conducted among all dependent variables. Significant relationships were observed between MSC and perceived balance (r=-0.38) and MSC and actual balance (stance test, r=-0.24; walking tests, r=0.221 to r=0.276). Greater MSC was associated with lower balance confidence, shorter one leg stance duration, and longer walk durations. No significant relationships were observed between CMP and perceived and actual balance outcomes. While CMP has been linked to performance in individuals with significant balance problems (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, stroke), our results suggest that a greater concern for movement style (i.e., possibly to avoid negative aging stereotypes) appears to be more related to poorer perceived and actual balance outcomes in healthy older adults. Addressing MSC may be a potential factor to consider when assessing balance in this population.

Acknowledgments: NSERC