Effects of combined exercise on gait variability in community-dwelling older adults

Ray Yau Wang, Yuan Li Wang, Fang Yu Cheng, Yuan Hung Chao, Chien Liang Chen, Yea Ru Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Training that focuses on strength, balance, and endurance, the so-called combined exercise, can enhance physical function, including gait, according to a literature review. However, the effects of combined exercise on improving gait variability are limited. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of 12 weeks of combined exercise comprised of resistance, endurance, and balance training on gait performance in older adults. Twenty-nine community-dwelling older adults were recruited and assigned to either the experimental group (n = 17) or the control group (n = 12). The 12-week intervention was a combined exercise program at 1 h per day and 3 days per week. The participants received an assessment for both a 6-min walk and gait during both habitual walking and fast walking conditions at pre-intervention and after 8 and 12 weeks of exercise. The 6-min walk was used to assess gait endurance. GAITRite was used to evaluate gait. An analysis of covariance with the pretest score as the covariate was used to determine the difference in each dependent variable between groups. The level of significance was set as p less than 0.05. Our results showed significant between-group effects in the 6-min walk and velocity, stride time, and stride length in both conditions after 8 weeks of exercise and significant between-group effects in the 6-min walk test and all selected gait parameters in both conditions after 12 weeks of exercise. Our findings demonstrate that a 12-week combined exercise program may positively affect gait endurance and gait performance including gait variability in habitual walking and fast walking conditions among older adults. The current study provides important evidence of short-term combined exercise effects on improvements in gait performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAge
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • Elderly
  • Exercise
  • Gait performance
  • Gait variability
  • Intervention

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