Effects of customized balance exercises on older women whose balance ability has deteriorated with age
Narita, Makoto; Islam, Mohammod M.; Rogers, Michael E.; Koizumi, Daisuke; Takeshima, Nobuo. 2015. Effects of customized balance exercises on older women whose balance ability has deteriorated with age. Journal of Women & Aging, vol. 27:no. 3:pp 237-250
Falls represent a major public health problem for older adults, and loss of balance (LOS) abilities is one of the primary causes of falls. Previous studies have shown that balance training is effective in improving physical function and decreasing risk of falls. However, little attention has been given specifically to balance training in older adults with very poor balance. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a 12-week customized balance exercise program on LOS for community-dwelling older women with poor balance ability. Twenty-four older women with poor balance (composite maximum excursion [MXEcomp] score of less than 70% based on Limits of Stability) were divided into an exercise group and control group. After 12weeks of balance exercises, mean MXEcomp improved (p<.05) from 58.6% to 79.0% in the exercise group. EPEcomp (composite endpoint excursion), RTcomp (composite reaction time), SVcomp3 (composite sway velocity on thick foam with the eyes open), UG (up and go) also improved, but the functional reach and other static balance indexes did not change. These results indicated that balance training allows older adults with poor balance to improve dynamic balance ability and potentially reduce risk for falls.