The Effect of a Community-Based Fitness and Aerobic Exercise Program for Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Shu-Chuan Chen, MSN, RN1
Hsueh-Jen Ho, MSN, RN1
An-Na Chao, MSN, RN2
Chiung-Hua Lin, MSN, RN1
Ruenn-Ching Wang, MSN, RN1
(1)Nursing, National Tainan Junior College of Nursing, Tainan, Taiwan
(2)Department of Nursing, National Tainan Junior College of Nursing, Tainan, Taiwan

Purpose:  The purpose of study aimed to examine the effects of a fitness and aerobic exercise (FAE) on muscle strength, flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness and balance in community-dwelling older adults.

Methods:

ParticipantsF A sample of 64 older adults (aged_60+) was recruited from community centers.A prospective, single blind, randomized, controlled intervention trial was undertaken. The participants were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Participants were randomized into intervention group (n=31) or control group (n=33). The intervention group underwent a fitness and aerobic exercise (FAE) program which designed for older adults to improve leg muscle strength, flexibility cardiorespiratory fitness, agility and balance training program. This is 1-hour session and twice per week for 8 weeks. The control group underwent a walking program. MeasurementFMuscle strength (Chair stand test and Arm curl test), flexibility (Chair sit-and reach test and Back scratch test), cardiorespiratory fitness (2-minute step test), agility (8-foot up-and-go test) and balance (Gait balance).

Results: At baseline both groups were well matched in their physical performance, health and activity levels. The intervention group had significantly more gains in leg and arm Muscle strength, balance and agility than controls. There were no significant trends for improvement on flexibility and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that participation in FAE program can improve muscle strength; balance and agility .The FAE program is a feasible and beneficial for improving physical conditions in older adults. FAE program may serve a good model of a community-based fitness program for improving health and preventing chronic conditions in community-dwelling older adults.