Effect of resistance training on physical performance and fear of falling in elderly with different levels of physical well-being
Several factors are involved in the maintenance of activities of daily living (ADL) in older adults. Skeletal muscle mass and strength are important factors for maintaining independence and quality of life in elderly, and sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) is associated with mobility disorders, increased risk of falls and fractures, ADL-dysfunction and loss of independence. Fear of falling (measured by FES) is very common in elderly and is a strong predictor of actual falls. Resistance training is an effective intervention to improve the physicial performance in older adults. This article compares the effect of resistance training in robust and frail elderly.
Frailty was defined as an Timed-up-and Go test (TUG) of >13.5 sec. Lean leg mass (measured by bioelectrical impedance) and strength (10-RM) were measured together with 5 physical performance tests: 10-m walk test, TUG test, single leg standing (SLS), functional reach (FR) and 5-chair stand. Intervention for the 337 elderly consisted of resistance training for 1 hour, twice a week for 50 weeks.
Results: Both groups improved significantly in muscle mass. In frail elderly, the raining programme was effective for the improvement of LLM and physical performance (one balance parameter and fear of falling). In contrast, there was no correlation between the change in LLM and physical performance in robust elderly. However, TUG might not be a sensitive enough definition of frailty, force was not measured (only LLM), and there was no long term follow-up.
The implications of this study are that resistance training should be offered to frail elderly only. Future work should determine whether tailor-made interventions can effectively improve physical function in both robust and frail elderly. > From: Yamada et al., Age Ageing 40 (2011) 637-641. All rights reserved to Oxford University Press.
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