Abstract

Purpose: Falls prevention interventions are a priority for publichealth systems in order to reduce falls-related high costs. TheUniversity Hospital of Palermo promoted the ‘‘Passiata Day’’ model,an initiative of the Department of Geriatrics that provided a 1-h walkfor once a week in a park of Palermo. It was guided by a graduate inphysical education and a medical doctor. The aim of this study was toevaluate posturographic parameters in a sample of elderly including agroup of subjects that had been walking regularly in the ‘‘PassiataDay’’ model for 6 months and a group of sedentary elderly subjects.Methods: A number of 109 older people were recruited at theUniversity Hospital of Palermo and divided into the following groups:the physical activity group (PAG: n = 75; age 70.87 ± 7.09 years;height 160.75 ± 7.38 cm; weight 70.71 ± 13.87 kg) and the sedentarygroup (SG: n = 34; age 75.5 ± 9.43 years; height157.32 ± 19.60 cm; weight 70.94 ± 21.64 kg). All participantsperformed a stabilometric test in two different conditions: with eyesopen (EO) and with eyes closed (EC) using the freeMedbaropodometric platform and the freeStep software (Sensor Medica; Guidonia Montecelio, Roma, Italia). In accordance with theRomberg test, subjects were required to stay in a standing position for51.2 s with feet placed side-by-side forming an angle of 30 and bothheels were 4 cm apart. The parameters considered were: Sway PathLength (SPL) of the CoP; Ellipse Sway Area (ESA); CoP coordinatesalong the frontal (DX; X-mean) and sagittal (DY; Y-mean) planes.Mean values and standard deviations were calculated using StatisticaSoftware 12 (StatSoft, TIBCO Software Inc, Palo Alto, CA, USA).Differences between groups were analysed via t tests for comparisons.The alpha level was set at p\0.05.Results: The stabilometric evaluation with EO did not show anysignificant differences (p[0.05) between the PAG and SG for all theposturographic parameters. Instead, as concerns the EC condition, wefound a significant difference in ESA (p = 0.01), DX (p = 0.002), DY(p = 0.02) of the CoP in the PAG compared to the SG.Conclusions: Our results showed that a leisure-time physical activityimprove balance in elderly, in particular in stress conditions as withEC. Indeed, the PAG showed significantly lower postural swayparameters when compared to SG. This indicates that walking regularlycan increase proprioceptive capacity in elderly in order toprevent the risk of fall.ReferenceOkubo Y, Osuka Y, Jung S, Rafael F, Tsujimoto T, Aiba T, KimT, Tanaka K (2016) Walking can be more effective than balancetraining in fall prevention among community-dwelling older adults.Geriatr Gerontol Int 16(1):118–125
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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