Improvement in gait function with aerobic and resistance training in chronically ill patients

Physical training may reduce your risk of falling.


What are the effects of aerobic and resistance training on gait in chronically ill patients?

What was done?

25 participants with chronic illness, e.g. diabetes or osteoporoses, aged 45-89 years were randomly assigned to an exercise group or a control group for 12 weeks. Measures of gait function and postural stability were taken.

What was found?

The exercise group demonstrated improved gait functionin and postural stability over the control group.

How does this affect me?

Participating in aerobic and resistance exercise – even if you you have a chronic illness – may still reduce your risk of falling.

Article Abstract

Objectives This study aimed to develop an effective exercise training program for enhancing the postural stability and gait function of chronically ill patients to avoid falls.
Study design Pre training–post-training. Analyses were limited to those randomized to the exercise intervention.
Methods The participants were chronically ill patients over 45 years old (47–89 years), of whom 25 completed the 12-week training regimen and assessment in the exercise group, whereas 29 completed the assessment in the control group, suffering from cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, or osteoporosis. The average age of the participants was 67.56 ± 10.70 years in the intervention group. All patients in this study signed institutional review board (IRB) agreements before participating (IRB approval no: FEMH-IRB-101029-E, v. 02, date: 20120429).
Results The results revealed the beneficial effects of regular aerobic and resistance training, which improved in elderly, chronically ill patients. According to our data, most of the gait function measurements exhibited significant differences between the exercise group and control group. The duration of the ‘timed up-and-go’ test decreased from 7.67 s to 6.76 s (P = 0.00013), and the ‘the base of support area’ increased from 392.0 cm2 to 433.2 cm2 (P = 0.0088). Women attained more significant differences than men in the exercise and control groups (P = 0.0008), and the participants aged 45–65 years had a more satisfactory outcome than those aged > 65 years (P = 0.0109).
Conclusion Regular exercise regimens, such as aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training, enhance the gait function and sense of postural stability in elderly, chronically ill patients. Younger patients attained more positive results than older patients, and women attained more positive results than men. Regular exercise is a means of preventing falls; thus, the government and hospitals should increase promotional measures in aging communities to encourage regular exercise among elderly, chronically ill outpatients.

Link to full article.

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