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    Positive effects of blue light on motor coordination in older adults: A pilot study

    Beaven, C Martyn, Uiga, Liis ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5371-9428 and Hébert-Losier, Kim (2023) Positive effects of blue light on motor coordination in older adults: A pilot study. Applied Ergonomics: human factors in technology and society, 114. 104156. ISSN 0003-6870

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    Abstract

    Purpose: Falls are a risk factor for mortality in older adults. Lighting interventions can improve cognitive and motor task performance, but the effect on postural control with relevance to falling is unknown. Methods: Sixteen older adults participated in an intervention study with blue-enriched light delivered visually and/or transcranially for 12 minutes. Postural control in three conditions (60s eyes-open, dual-task, and eyes-closed), lower-limb motor coordination, and cognitive function were assessed. Results: Relative to placebo, visual blue-enriched light improved reaction time in the motor coordination task by 0.073±0.035s (d=0.77±0.39; p=0.003). Visual exposure decreased Area of Sway relative to the combined (d=0.38±0.26; p=0.020) and placebo interventions (d=0.47±0.42; p=0.067), with no significant effect on cognition. Conclusion: Blue-enriched lighting demonstrates a novel approach to positively impact postural control and motor coordination in older adults. By impacting metrics associated with fall risk, light interventions may provide a clinical countermeasure to decrease the human costs of falls.

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