Water-based training associated with improved dynamic balance

Participating in water-based exercise may improve balance leading to reduced risk of falling.

Question

What are the effects of water-based training on dynamic and static balance in older women?

What was done?

36 older women were randomly assigned to a water-based training group (three times per week for 12 weeks) or a control group (no water-based training). Aerobic exercises and lower limb strength exercises were performed in the training group. Measure of balance for standing still and walking were taken after 12 weeks.

What was found?

No improvements were found in the static balance. Dynamic balance, i.e. standing up and walking, demonstrated improvements in the training group.

How does this affect me?

Including water-based exercise may improve your balance, which may reduce injuries due to falling.

Article Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a water-based exercise program on static and dynamic balance.
Method: Thirty-six older women were randomly assigned to a water-based training (3 days/week for 12 weeks) or control group. Water level was kept at the level of the xiphoid process and temperature at ∼28–30°C. Each session included aerobic activities and lower limb strength exercises. The medial–lateral, the anterior–posterior amplitude, and displacement of the center of pressure (CP-D) were measured in a quiet standing position (60 sec eyes opened and closed). The dynamic balance and 8-Foot Up-and-Go tests were also applied. Group comparisons were made using two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures.
Results: No differences were found in the center of pressure variables; however, the WBT group showed better performance in the 8 Foot Up-and-Go Test after training (5.61±0.76 vs. 5.18±0.42; p<0.01).
Conclusion: The water-based training was effective in improving dynamic balance, but not static balance.

Link to full article.

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