Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 237, Issue 6, pp 1383–1395 | Cite as

The effects of speed of execution on upper-limb kinematics in activities of daily living with respect to age

  • Philipp GuldeEmail author
  • S. Schmidle
  • A. Aumüller
  • J. Hermsdörfer
Research Article


In this study, 26 young, 16 older adults ≤ 66a, and 22 older adults ≥ 67a were examined in a set of neuropsychological tests and the kinematics in two different activities of daily living (ADL) were assessed. Half of the participants performed the ADL in a natural speed, the other half as fast as possible. The performance in the Trail Making Task B revealed an increased slope after 67 years of age. When executed in a natural speed, ADL kinematics were comparable. When executed as fast as possible, almost all kinematic parameters showed significant group and speed differences and revealed group × speed interactions. Models of multiple linear regression predicting ADL trial durations showed similar strategies in the young and older adults < 67a. Factors were the general movement speed, the travelled path lengths, and the simultaneous use of both hands. In the older adults ≥ 67a, factors were the general movement speed, the travelled path length, and the activity level (during the task execution). A principal component analysis supported these findings by revealing two underlying components: movement strategy and age-dependent decline in primarily executive functions, where the ADL trial duration had comparable loadings on both components. These results in association with the accelerated decline in executive functions found in the oldest group suggest that deterioration of ADL with age is particularly caused by specific age-dependent changes in cognitive capacities.


Kinematics Bimanual Upper limb Age Speed of execution Activity of daily living 



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Gulde
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Schmidle
    • 1
  • A. Aumüller
    • 1
  • J. Hermsdörfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Chair of Human Movement Science, Department of Sport and Health SciencesTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

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