There is strong evidence to support strength or balance training for a duration of 6 to 12 weeks as an exercise intervention to improve proprioception and mobility in community-dwelling elderly. However, it is unknown if a shorter duration of exercise can be effective in improving proprioception and mobility in this population. Purpose: To determine whether a 5-week program of cup-tap balance control or lower limb strength exercise can improve proprioception and mobility in healthy community-dwelling older people. Methods: Sixty-eight healthy community-dwelling elderly (19M, 49F, 70.91±6.61yrs old, range 55-90yrs old) were randomly allocated into 3 groups: cup-tap balance control exercise group (CTE), lower limb strength exercise group (LSE) or education group (EC). A 60 minutes per session, twice weekly cup-tap or strength exercise program was delivered for 5 weeks duration. Key outcome measures included ankle proprioception measured by using the active movement extent discrimination apparatus (AMEDA), and mobility assessed by using the Timed Up and Go test (TUG) and the 30-second Sit to Stand test (30STS). Results: ANOVA analysis showed that there was no significant difference in baseline measures: ankle proprioception (F=1.605, p=0.209), TUG (F=0.473, p=0.625), and 30STS (F=1.201, p=0.307) among the 3 groups. Paired t-tests used for examining pre- and post-intervention differences indicated that 1) for the CTE group, the performance of 30STS and the ankle proprioception were significantly improved (p=0.005, p=0.016 respectively); 2) for the LSE group, both TUG and 30STS were significantly improved (p=0.023, p=0.03 respectively); and 3) no significant changes were observed for the EC group. In addition, Pearson's correlation analysis showed that 30STS and TUG performances were moderately correlated (r=-0.598, p<0.001) and TUG was significantly correlated with age (r=0.416, p<0.001). Conclusion: The current findings suggest that the proprioception and mobility of older people can be improved by a short duration of balance control or strength training exercise. However, we suggest that the exercise program must be target-specific with respect to different impairments associated with the aging process for optimal results.
|Number of pages||1|
|Journal||Medicine Science in Sports Exercise|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2019|