The dual task is an important factor affecting knee biomechanics during jump-landing tasks. Athletes often have trouble in performing two tasks concurrently and a dual task can deteriorate landing performance. However, it is still unknown whether a dual task will affect the entire lower extremity. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of cognitive task interference on biomechanics of hip and ankle joints as well as the knee joint during the drop vertical jump (DVJ). A total of 20 female collegiate athletes participated in the study. Athletes performed a DVJ with or without a cognitive task. The DVJ was captured using a motion analysis system. Mental arithmetic of 2-digit addition was used as a cognitive task. Maximum vertical ground reaction force (vGRF), joint angles at initial contact (IC), joint moments within 40 milliseconds (ms) after IC, and joint angles and moments at peak vGRF were assessed. The data were statistically compared between with and without a cognitive task condition using a two-tailed paired t-test or the Wilcoxon singed rank test. The peak external knee abduction moment on both limbs within 40 ms after IC during the DVJ was significantly larger in the dual task than in the single task with less knee and hip flexion at initial contact. In addition, all moments of hip and ankle joints within 40 ms after IC were significantly larger in the dual task than in the single task accompanied with greater vGRF, except for the hip internal rotation moment. Cognitive tasks during a DVJ will result in biomechanical changes of the entire lower extremity in female athletes.
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