Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Effectiveness of a short-term and simple exercise training program for older adults

Michele LeBlanc, Tiffany Linville, Michael Calkins

Abstract

While there have been many studies determining the effectiveness of training programs to decrease fall risk in the elderly, most of them require special equipment, leader training, or major time commitments (more than 8 weeks, multiple times per week). Individuals older than 66 years old identified an exercise program offered at home, twice a week, lasting 10 or 30 minutes, and with no associated cost as being more attractive than other training program options offered (Franco et al., 2015). The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a simple six-week exercise program on fall risk factors. Thirty-eight older adults were assigned to a Training Group or a Control Group. Investigator-led balance and lower extremity strength exercises were performed twice a week. Mobility, leg strength and postural sway were measured before and after the six weeks for both groups. A survey determined perceptions of participant abilities and fear of falling at three different times. Timed Up and Go times decreased (p = .008), leg strength increased (p = .022), and postural sway decreased in the anteroposterior direction and overall, for the Training Group (p < .05) while the Control group displayed no differences. Surveys administered determined no differences for the Control group, but the Training Group perceived that they had better balance, mobility, and leg strength and a decreased fear of falling (p < .05). This simple training program led to changes that would likely decrease fall risk and did so in an extremely short time.


Keywords

Fall risk; Elderly exercise; Postural sway; Training program; Elastic bands

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2021.163.20





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