Falls and consequent injuries in older people are a significant public health problem among older adults in Kerala. Thirteen percent of people in Kerala state are over age 60; the highest among all states in India. Since many older individuals are physically weak and frail, they may not be strong enough to move their own body weight. For these individuals, aerobic activities can be extremely difficult to perform. With more strength, older adults have better health, quality of life and physical function and fewer falls. Therefore, strength training can be vital in restoring independence and functionality.
1) Assess the effects of strength training exercise (STE) on physical parameters, 2) Compare the effectiveness of STE between experimental and control groups, 3) Assess the association between effectiveness and demographic variables and 4) Assess quality of life.
The study had a quasi-experimental, non-randomized pre/post design. The data was collected using structured questionnaire on demographic variables, clinical variables (blood pressure (BP), Body mass index (BMI) were measured, and the Senior Fitness Test by Rikli and Jones. Quality of life was assessed by McGill Quality of Life Questionnaire. The elderly people in the experimental group received six weeks of intervention.
Senior STE had a significant effect on the following physical parameters: chair stand/lower body strength (p=0.0001), chair sit and reach/lower body flexibility (p value=0.006), back scratch/upper body flexibility (p =0.004), and 8-foot up-and-go/agility and dynamic balance (p=0.0001). There was no significant difference with regard to the 2-minute step test/aerobic endurance or arm curl/upper body strength in the experimental group. The 8-foot up-and-go test (p=0.0001) was the only test significantly different between the two groups. In addition, there was no significant difference in BMI after the intervention, however STE had an effect on BP (p=0.001). Quality of life improved in the experimental group (p =0.0001), but not in the control group.
Interpretation and Conclusion
Progressive strength training in the elderly is efficient to retain motor function. It is apparent that strength training can enhance musculoskeletal fitness and increase overall quality of life.
B. Nisha, Dhanyamol, K., Shaji, D., and Seguin, R., “Effects of Strength Training Exercises on Physical Parameters and Quality of Life among Older Adults in Selected Geriatric Homes in Kerala, India”, Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 201-205, 2019.