Dual-task performance during a climbing traverse

Abstract

High-angle climbing is a physically and cognitively challenging activity. Whilst researchers have examined the physiological demands of climbing, the cognitive demands have been relatively neglected. In this experiment, we examined the performance of climbers when required to perform a dual climbing and word memory task, relative to single-task performance (word memory or climbing alone). Whilst there was no significant decrease in climbing distance during the dual-task condition, climbing efficiency was impaired, as was word recall. Participants’ Energetic Arousal, Tense Arousal and Task-unrelated Thoughts (TUTs) all changed dependent on the condition, with arousal increasing after the climbing conditions, and TUTs decreasing after the memory-load conditions. These results could be expanded on in future research to examine the physical and cognitive demands of high-angle climbing in greater detail.

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