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Introduction Aging-related reduced spinal mobility can interfere with the execution of important functional skills and activities in elderly women. However there is a lack of studies about the effects of range of motion exercises on flexibility outcomes in older populations and a lack of consensus regarding the prescription of stretching exercises for older adults (ACSM, 2009). For these reasons the purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which spinal extension and flexion could be improved in a population of older women participating in a 8-week flexibility training program. Methods Thirty female volunteers were cluster randomized into either a control group [CG] (n: 13; age: 69.69±7.94 years; height: 1.57±0.06 m; weight: 68.42±8.18 kg, BMI: 27.88±2.81) and a trained group [TG] (n: 17; age: 68.35±6.04 years; height: 1.54±0.06 m; weight: 64.78±10.16, kg, BMI: 27.28±3.08). TG was trained for 8 weeks by two sessions/week. In particular, every trained session included: a warm up period (~15 min), a training period (~60 min) including specific exercises to train spinal flexibil- ity, cool down period (~15 min). CG did not perform any structured physical activity during the experimental phase. All data were acquired before and after the experimental period. Spinal ranges of motion (ROM) were measured using SpinalMouse® (Idiag, Volkerswill, Swit- zerland), which is an electronic computer-aided device that measures sagittal spinal ROM and inter-segmental angles non-invasively using the so-called surface technique. Each angle was measured three times in a neutral standing (nS) position, maximum bending (maxB) position, and maximum extension (maxE) position, and average data were used. Results Results indicated a significant improve- ment in spinal mobility in the trained group compared to the control one, and virtually no measurable change in the control group. In particular, we found a significant increase of thoracic ROM from nS position to maxB one (p<0.05) in TG than CG after the training period compared to baseline. Instead we did not show any significant difference of sagittal spinal ROM from nS position to maxE one (p>0.05). Discussion This study shows that used training program can improve the spinal flexibility in female older adults. We suggested, in agreement with Miyakoshi et al. (2007), that an increase in spinal ROM had positive effects on quality of life and that deterioration of back muscle strength could be the most important factor decreasing spinal ROM in elderly people. References Miyakoshi N, Hongo M, Maekawa S, Ishikawa Y, Shimada Y, Itoi E. (2007). Osteoporos Int 18:1397–1403.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


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