Authors: Chang, Yun Heng and Chen, Miao Yen
This study involved community-dwelling olderadults from the Datong District Health Center in Taipei City, Taiwan. Participants’ needs were evaluated through questionnaires and a preliminary physical fitness examination. An elastic band resistance training program was developed which consisted of physical fitness examinations and eight weeks of courses. The training was primarily aimed at lower limb muscle groups, while also including progressive strength training exercises for upper limb and core muscle groups. The Wilcoxon signed-ranks test results indicated a significant improvement in the participants’ Berg Balance Scale (BBS) scores after eight weeks of training (z=-2.7, p=0.007). Moreover, the training program was found to improve lower and upper limb muscle strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, dynamic and static balance, and agility in older adults, in addition to increasing their perceived fitness and mobility levels. The mean value of the participants’ perceived health status increased by 1.54 points and reached 8.38 (SD=1.1) after the training, which was a significant improvement (Wilcoxon signed-ranks test: z=-3.1, p=0.002). The mean perceived mobility score also significantly improved (Wilcoxon signed-ranks test: z=-3.0, p=0.003) and reached 8.94 (SD=0.8), which was 1.44 points higher than the mean score before the training. The results of this study can serve as a reference for professionals engaged in the planning of physical training for older adult communities.
Keywords: lower limb muscle strength, balancing, older adults, elastic band, athletic training