BACKGROUND: Research supports a link between exercise and falls prevention in the older population. OBJECTIVES: Our aims were to evaluate pain perception and balance skills in a group of elderly subjects and to examine the consequences of a standardized equipment-free exercise program intervention on these variables. The study utilized a randomized controlled trial method. METHODS: 92 subjects were recruited from a rural Sicilian village (Resuttano, Sicily, Italy). Subjects were randomly split into two groups, an experimental group (EG; n=49) and a control group (CG; n=43). Qualified fitness instructors delivered the standardized physical exercise program for the EG whilst the CG did not receive this exercise intervention. The Berg Balance Scale and the Oswestry Disability Index were administered in both groups before (T0) and after the intervention (T1). RESULTS: At T1, the EG group significantly improvement in balance (p<0.0001) and pain perception (p<0.0001). No significant differences were found within the CG both in BBS and ODI, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that a 13-weeks standardized exercise equipment-free program is effective in improving balance and perception of pain in the elderly. This type of intervention can consequently provide a low cost strategy to counteract the rate of disability in elderly.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health