17th Annual ECSS-Congress, Bruges 2012

Abstract details

Abstract-ID: 412
Session: [OP-BN01] Motor Control: Skill acquisition
Lecture room: West
Date & time: 05.07.2017 / -
Title of the paper: The effect of attentional focus on mindfulness during a 6-week balance exercise training program in young adults
Authors: Pantano, K., Genovese, J.E.C.
Institution: Cleveland State University
Department: Doctor of Physical Therapy Porgram in the School of Health Sciences, and Human Development and Educational Psychology in the Department of Curriculum and Foundations
Country: United States
Abstract text Do not insert authors here Introduction: Mindfulness, or present moment awareness, is purported to benefit motor control and learning (Kee, 2012, Brown, 2003). Motor learning is thought to be enhanced when concentration or attention during exercise training focuses on an external goal (engaging automatic control processes) vs. attention to body position and movement (requiring conscious control and less automaticity) (Wulf, 2004, 2001). Exercises aimed at improving balance may incorporate an internal or external focus of attention (IFA or EFA), but it is not known how balance training and type of instruction received during balance training affects mindfulness. The purpose of this study was to determine whether balance exercises improve mindfulness and if mindfulness is influenced by the type of instruction received during balance training. Methods: Sixty-three physically active college students with no history of musculoskeletal injury in the last year and no surgeries in the last 5 years were recruited. Group 1 (n = 33; 24.8 3.2) received a 6 week balance exercise training program consisting of 8 progressive static and dynamic balance exercises instructed with an internal focus of attention (IFA). Group 2 (n =30; 24 3.8) received the same intervention, but were instructed with cues using an external focus of attention (EFA). The Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory (FMI) (Walach 2006) was used to assess mindfulness at baseline (initial), and 6-weeks (final) following the exercise intervention. Paired sample t-tests were used to assess change in FMI scores from baseline to 6 weeks (p < 0.05). Results: Baseline FMI scores between Group 1 (IFA) and Group 2 (EFA) were similar (41.6; 41.3 respectively; P > .05). At 6-weeks, subjects receiving IFA instruction exhibited a greater degree of mindfulness, as indicated by an increase in FMI score, compared to baseline (17.5 points, 95% CI, -21.5, -13.4, P=0.0000). Subjects receiving EFA instruction also improved degree of mindfulness at 6-weeks, compared to baseline (1.74, points, 95% CI, -3.2, -.21, P=.027), but the magnitude of improvement (effect size) was much smaller than seen in the IFA group. Discussion: The results indicate that mindfulness can be improved with a balance exercise intervention; however, providing an IFA during instruction may be more effective than providing an EFA during instruction. Increasing mindfulness via balance training may require more body awareness and conscious control, therefore promoting an IFA may be desired. More research is needed to elucidate the relationship between mindfulness, motor learning and attentional focus strategies. Practitioners should consider that balance exercise training can effect degree on mindfulness, and that the type of instructional strategy employed may influence results.
Topic: Motor Learning and Motor control
Keyword I: focus of attention
Keyword II: mindfulness
Keyword III: bablance exercise training