Independent static balance training contributes to increased stability and functional capacity in community dwelling elderly: A randomized controlled trial
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of independently conducted static balance exercises within a fall-safe environment in elderly participants engaging in independent training. Design: Randomized two-group parallel controlled study. Setting: Retirement center, community dwelling. Subjects: Subjects, 25 male and female volunteers (aged 82.6 6.1 years; weight 69.9 97 kg; height 165 6.9 cm; body mass index (BMI) 25.6 2.6) residing in independent living facilities were randomly assigned to an experimental group or a control group. Intervention: The experimental group engaged in standing, static balancing, and mild leg exercise 12 minutes per session, three times per week for 12 weeks. Exercises were done independent of spotters within a rigid frame consisting of tethers connected to the subject so that he or she could not fall. The control group were given literature on prevention of falls. Main outcome measures: Functional ability and balance was assessed using the following tests: 30-second chair stand test, 8-foot up and go test, Berg Balance Scale, and a step-up test. Results: Comparison by repeated-measures ANOVA of the performance before and after the 12-week intervention yielded significant (P < 0.01) improvement for the experimental group over the control group in the 30-second chair test repetitions, in the 8-foot up and go test, in the balance assessment and in the leg function assessments. Conclusion: Standing, static balance exercises conducted independently without safety supervision led to improvements in balance, functional ability, and leg functioning in frail elderly people. Ke
Jacobson, B.H., Thompson, B., Wallace, T., Brown, L., and Rial, C. (2011). Independent static balance training contributes to increased stability and functional capacity in community dwelling elderly: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation, 25: 549-556.