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Exercise Equipment for Seniors – Directory of Scientific Studies

By Maurice

On this page we’ve gathered scientific studies on exercise equipment for seniors.

As you will see below, most of the studies deal with the effectiveness of various types of exercise equipment – in other words, is a specific type of equipment effective in helping seniors get stronger, build better cardio, etc.?

You can filter the studies by clicking one of the orange buttons below, to choose the topic(s) you’re interested in:

Types of Exercise Equipment

Study Name

Effects of elastic band resistance exercises with breathing techniques on pulmonary function in female seniors

Publication Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation
Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of elastic-band resistance exercises combined with breathing techniques on pulmonary function in female seniors. 
Methods Forty-five female seniors 65 years or older were recruited from a welfare center and assigned to an experimental (n=23) or control (n=22) group. The experimental group used an elastic band with a resistance exercises while concurrently using specific breathing techniques. The control group conducted the same resistance tasks without the respiration exercises. Respiratory function data were collected before and after the 6-week intervention. 
Results The experimental group showed a significant increase in forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume 1 sec (FEV1), and in FEV1 as a percentage of FVC. In addition, there were significant differences in the FVC and FEV1 levels between groups. The results show that resistance accompanied by breathing techniques positively affects senior respiratory function when an elastic band is used for exercise.
Conclusion The results of this study revealed that an elastic band exercise accompanied by a specific breathing technique had a positive effect that could prove highly effective at improving pulmonary function. The intervention method used in this study can therefore be used as an elastic band exercise regime for improvements in pulmonary function during the planning of clinical and family programs.

Study Name

Evaluation of elastic bands for lower extremity resistance training in adults with and without musculo-skeletal pain

Publication Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Purpose Therapists commonly use elastic bands in resistance exercises during rehabilitation of smaller muscles, such as in the shoulder. However, the effectiveness has not yet been investigated for larger muscle groups. This study investigates muscle activity during lower extremity exercises. 
Methods Electromyographic (EMG) activity of 10 muscles was measured in 24 women and 18 men during lunges with elastic resistance, lunges with dumbbells, and unilateral leg press in machine using 10 repetition maximum loadings, and normalized to maximal voluntary isometric contraction EMG.
Results  Lunges with dumbbells and leg press showed higher activity than lunges with elastic resistance for the vasti and rectus femoris (P < 0.01), whereas lunges with elastic resistance showed higher activity of gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and erector spinae (P < 0.01). Gender, age, and pain in the knees and hip did not influence these findings. However, pain in the lower back decreased muscular activity of the gluteus maximus and vastus medialis (P < 0.01).
Conclusion Lunges with elastic resistance induce high levels of muscle activity in all the large muscle groups at the hip, knee, and back. Importantly, the efficiency of these exercises was equally high regardless of gender, age, and pain in the knees and hip, whereas pain in the lower back led to altered activation strategies.

Study Name

Muscle Activation and Perceived Loading During Rehabilitation Exercises: Comparison of Dumbbells and Elastic Resistance

Publication Physical Therapy
Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate muscle activation and perceived loading during upper-extremity resistance exercises with dumbbells compared with elastic tubing.

Design: A single-group, repeated-measures study design was used. Setting: Exercise evaluation was conducted in a laboratory setting. Participants: Sixteen female workers (aged 26–55 years) without serious musculoskeletal diseases and with a mean neck and shoulder pain intensity of 7.8 on a 100-mm visual analog scale participated in the study.

Measurements: Electromyographic (EMG) activity was measured in 5 selected muscles during the exercises of lateral raise, wrist extension, and shoulder external rotation during graded loadings with dumbbells (2–7.5 kg) and elastic tubing (Thera-Band, red to silver resistance). The order of exercises and loadings was randomized for each individual. Electromyographic amplitude was normalized to the absolute maximum EMG amplitude obtained during maximal voluntary isometric contraction and exercise testing. Immediately after each set of exercise, the Borg CR10 scale was used to rate perceived loading during the exercise.

Results Resistance exercise with dumbbells as well as elastic tubing showed increasing EMG amplitude and perceived loading with increasing resistance. At the individually maximal level of resistance for each exercise—defined as the 3 repetitions maximum—normalized EMG activity of the prime muscles was not significantly different between dumbbells (59%–87%) and elastic tubing (64%–86%). Perceived loading was moderately to very strongly related to normalized EMG activity (r=.59–.92). Limitations: The results of this study apply only for exercises performed in a controlled manner (ie, without sudden jerks or high acceleration).
Conclusion Comparably high levels of muscle activation were obtained during resistance exercises with dumbbells and elastic tubing, indicating that therapists can choose either type in clinical practice. The Borg CR10 can be a useful aid in estimating intensity of individual rehabilitation protocols.

Study Name

Supervised pulmonary rehabilitation using minimal or specialist exercise equipment in COPD: a propensity-matched analysis

Publication Thorax
Purpose This study compares the efficacy of PR programmes with minimal, low-cost equipment with programmes using specialist equipment. Many trials supporting the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) have used specialist exercise equipment, such as treadmills and cycle ergometers. However, access to specialist equipment may not be feasible in some settings.

Using propensity score matching, 318 consecutive patients with COPD undergoing supervised PR using minimal equipment (PR-min) were compared 1:1 with a control group of 318 patients with COPD who underwent supervised PR using specialist equipment (PR-gym). A non-inferiority analysis was performed for the primary outcome (incremental shuttle walk (ISW)) and secondary outcomes (Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (CRQ)—domain and total scores).
PR-gym participants had access to aerobic and resistance training equipment such as treadmills, cycle ergometers and fixed weight machines for lower limb resistance, for example, leg press, knee extension.

PR-min only had access to a walking course and simple portable resistance training equipment such as steps, free weights and elastic resistance bands (TheraBand®).

Results Similar improvements in ISW and CRQ-domains were observed in PR-min and PR-gym groups (mean difference ISW: 3 m (95% CI −16 to 9); CRQ-total: 0.9 (95% CI −2.7 to 4.5)). The 95% CI between group differences for ISW and CRQ-total did not cross the predefined non-inferiority margins. However, completion rates were lower in PR-min compared with PR-gym (64% vs 73%; p=0.014).

In patients with COPD, PR delivered using minimal equipment produces clinically significant benefits in exercise capacity and health-related quality of life that are non-inferior to rehabilitation delivered using specialist equipment. This study provides support for the provision of PR using minimal exercise equipment, particularly in areas where access to specialist exercise equipment is limited.

PR-gym participants had access to aerobic and resistance training equipment such as treadmills, cycle ergometers and fixed weight machines for lower limb resistance, for example, leg press, knee extension.
PR-min only had access to a walking course and simple portable resistance training equipment such as steps, free weights and elastic resistance bands (TheraBand®).


Study Name

Similarity of Joint Kinematics and Muscle Demands Between Elliptical Training and Walking: Implications for Practice

Publication Physical Therapy
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine joint kinematics and muscle activation recorded during walking and elliptical training to provide evidence-based data to guide clinical decision making.

Design: This was a prospective, controlled laboratory study using a repeated-measures design.

Methods: Twenty adults free from impairments that might hinder gait participated. After familiarization procedures, subjects walked and trained on 4 elliptical devices while kinematic, electromyographic (EMG), and stride characteristic data were recorded.

Instrumentation: The variable-stride-length elliptical devices selected for the study were the SportsArt Fitness E870† (manufacturer’s reported stride length, 43–74 cm), the Life Fitness X7‡ (46–61 cm), the Octane Fitness Pro4500§ (46–58 cm), and the True Fitness Technology TSXa‖ (43–66 cm) (respectively referred to hereafter as SportsArt, Life Fitness, Octane, and True). Each is available for use in either commercial or home settings and promotes a movement pattern similar to gait on the basis of observational analysis. All of the devices have both static and dynamic (movable) handles.

As in gait, the dynamic handles move reciprocally with leg motion (ie, if the right foot is posterior, then the right hand is more anterior). Although both types of handles were available, all of the subjects in the present study elected to use the movable handles. The moveable handles in the SportsArt contain heart rate sensors. In contrast, the remaining devices have sensors only in the stationary handles.


Movement similarities between elliptical training and walking were supported by the documentation of relatively high coefficients of multiple correlation for the hip (.85–.89), thigh (.92–.94), knee (.87–.89) and, to a lesser extent, the ankle (.57–.71). Significantly greater flexion was documented at the trunk, pelvis, hip, and knee during elliptical training than during walking. One of the elliptical trainers most closely simulated sagittal-plane walking kinematics, as determined from an assessment of key variables.

During elliptical training, gluteus maximus and vastus lateralis muscle activation were increased; medial hamstring, gastrocnemius, soleus, and tibialis anterior muscle activation were decreased; and gluteus medius and lateral hamstring muscle activation were relatively unchanged compared with muscle activation of those muscles in walking. On the basis of EMG findings, no elliptical trainer clearly emerged as the best for simulating gait.

Limitations: To date, only 4 elliptical trainers have been studied, and the contributions of the upper extremities to movement have not been quantified.

Conclusion Although one of the elliptical trainers (The SportsArt ) best simulated sagittal-plane walking kinematics, EMG analysis failed to identify one clearly superior device. This research provides evidence-based data to help guide clinical decision making related to the use of elliptical trainers across the health care continuum and into the community.

Study Name

Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking and overground walking

Publication Gait & Posture

Our objective was to compare lower extremity kinematics, coordination and variability during four locomotor tasks: overground walking, treadmill walking, elliptical training and stationary cycling in 10 non-disabled adults (6 male; mean age 22.7 ± 2.9 yrs, range 20–29).

The extent to which therapeutic, exercise or robotic devices can maximize gait function is a major unresolved issue in neurorehabilitation. Several factors may influence gait outcomes such as similarity of the task to overground walking, degree of coordination within and across limbs, and cycle-to-cycle variability in each device.


10 non-disabled adults (6 male; mean age 22.7 ± 2.9 yrs, range 20–29) performed four locomotor tasks: overground walking, treadmill walking, elliptical training and stationary cycling. All first performed four overground walking trials at self-selected speed with mean temporal–spatial data used to pace the other conditions.

Joint positions, excursions, and the Gait Deviation Index (GDI) were compared across conditions to evaluate kinematic similarity. Time-series data were correlated within and across limbs to evaluate intralimb and interlimb coordination, respectively. Variability in cadence was quantified to assess how constrained the locomotor rhythm was compared to overground walking.

Results Treadmill walking most closely resembled overground with GDI values nearly overlapping, reinforcing its appropriateness for gait training. Cycling showed the largest GDI difference from overground, with elliptical closer but still a significant distance from all three. Cycling showed greater hip reciprocation Cycling and elliptical showed stronger intralimb synergism at the hip and knee than the other two.
Conclusion Based on kinematics, results suggest that elliptical training may have greater transfer to overground walking than cycling and cycling may be more useful for enhancing reciprocal coordination. Further evaluation of these devices in neurological gait disorders is needed.

Study Name

Adding weights to stretching exercise increases passive range of motion for healthy elderly

Publication Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Purpose This investigation evaluated adding modest weight (0.45-1.35 kg) to a stretching exercise routine (Body Recall [BR]) on joint ROM.
Stretching exercise is effective for increasing joint range of motion (ROM). However, the Surgeon General’s Report and the American College of Sports Medicine cite a lack of studies identifying strategies capable of increasing the effectiveness of stretching exercise.
Methods Forty-three subjects ages 55-83 years participated in 1 of 2 training groups, BR, BR with weights (BR+W), or a control group (C). ROM was evaluated at the neck, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle before and after 10 weeks of exercise.
Results Using ANCOVA, significant differences (p < 0.01) were observed for right and left cervical rotation, hip extension, ankle dorsiflexion, ankle plantar flexion, and shoulder flexion. Post hoc analysis revealed that cervical rotation (left and right), hip extension, and ankle dorsiflexion for BR+W subjects differed significantly from BR and C (p < 0.01). Significant differences with shoulder flexion and ankle plantar flexion were found for both BR and BR+W in comparison to C (p < 0.01).  
Conclusion Results indicate that addition of weights enhanced the effectiveness of stretching exercise for increasing joint ROM with 4 of the 6 selected measurements. Thus, a modest intensity exercise program that is within the reach of most elderly may significantly affect joint ROM and flexibility.

Study Name

Gait Coordination After Stroke: Benefits of Acoustically Paced Treadmill Walking

Publication Physical Therapy
Purpose Gait coordination often is compromised after stroke. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of acoustically paced treadmill walking as a method for improving gait coordination in people after stroke. 

Participants: Ten people after stroke volunteered for the study and comprised the experimental group. Nine elderly people who were healthy served as a control group. 

Methods: Gait cycle parameters, interlimb coordination, and auditory-motor coordination were examined while participants walked on a treadmill with and without acoustic pacing. 

Results Stride frequency was adjusted to different acoustic pacing frequencies in all participants. In people after stroke, gait symmetry improved with acoustic pacing. They predominantly coordinated movements of the nonparetic limb to ipsilateral tones.
Conclusion The results suggest that acoustically paced treadmill walking provides an effective means for immediately modifying stride frequency and improving gait coordination in people after stroke and, therefore, may be usefully applied in physical therapist practice. Future research directions for developing guidelines for using acoustically paced treadmill walking in physical therapist practice are discussed.
Study Name

Effects of a Treadmill Walking Program on Muscle Strength and Balance in Elderly People With Down Syndrome

Publication The Journals of Gerontology: Series A
Purpose The objective of this study was to compare isokinetic leg strength and dynamic balance of aged mentally retarded individuals with DS (n = 16, mean age 63) before and after a treadmill walking program lasting 6 months in comparison with a nonwalking control group (n = 10) with similar physical characteristics.
Methods Participants in the study undertook leg strength testing on a dynamometer. Parameters measured included peak torque, peak torque % body weight, and average power % body weight. A “timed get-up and go” functional test for dynamic balance was also analyzed and compared prior to and after the treadmill program.
Results Knee extension and flexion isokinetic strength in elderly individuals with DS showed significant improvement after 6 months of treadmill training. Dynamic balance performance was also significantly improved (p < .05).
Conclusion Aged adults with DS can significantly improve muscle strength and balance by adopting suitable programs of treadmill walking.
Study Name

Effects of high intensity aerobic exercise on treadmill on maximum-expiratory lung capacity of elderly women

Publication Journal of Physical Therapy Science
Purpose The aim of this study was to examine whether a systematic high intensity aerobic exercise on treadmill was effective in improving pulmonary function.
Methods The subjects of this study were 22 healthy elderly women over 65 years of age who were attending the Senior Welfare Center and Social Welfare Center programs in B city. For the pulmonary function test, a spirometry (Pony FX, COSMED Inc., Italy) was used. The item for measurement of pulmonary function in elderly women was maximum-effort expiratory spirogram (MES). The pulmonary function test was performed 3 times, and its mean value was used for analysis. After a 15 minute warm-up stretching, high intensity aerobic exercise was performed for 20 minutes as a main exercise, followed by 15 minutes of cool-down stretching. Exercise was performed three days a week for 12 weeks.
Results Among items of maximum-effort expiratory spirogram, a significant difference after exercise was demonstrated in forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Two factors were improved after exercise.
Conclusion The results demonstrated that high intensity aerobic exercise on the treadmill has a positive effect on the pulmonary function of elderly women.
Study Name

Chronic Stroke Survivors Benefit From High-Intensity Aerobic Treadmill Exercise: A Randomized Control Trial

Publication Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Purpose The aim of this study is to assess the benefits of gait-oriented cardiovascular fitness training for older persons after stroke. Ambulatory subjects after stroke may benefit from gait-oriented cardiovascular fitness training, but trials to date have not primarily assessed older persons.

Thirty-eight subjects (age >60 years) with residual hemiparetic gait were enrolled >6 months after stroke. Participants were randomized to receive 3 months (3×/week) progressive graded, high-intensity aerobic treadmill exercise (TAEX) or conventional care physiotherapy.

Primary outcome measures were peak exercise capacity (Vo2peak) and sustained walking capacity in 6-minute walks (6MW). Secondary measures were gait velocity in 10-m walks, Berg Balance Scale, functional leg strength (5 chair-rise), self-rated mobility (Rivermead Mobility Index), and quality of life (SF-12). 


Thirty-six participants completed the study (18 TAEX, 18 controls). TAEX but not conventional care improved Vo2peak (difference 6.4 mL/kg/min, P < .001) and 6MW (53 m, P < .001). Likewise, maximum walking speed (0.13 m/s, P = .01), balance (P < .05), and the mental subscore of the SF-12 (P < .01) improved more after TAEX. Gains in Vo2peak correlated with the degree at which training intensity could be progressed in the individual participant (P < .01).

Better walking was related to progression in treadmill velocity and training duration (P < .001). Vo2peak and 6MW performances were still higher 1 year after the end of training when compared with the baseline, although endurance walking (6MW) at 1 year was lower than immediately after training (P < .01). 

Conclusion This trial demonstrates that TAEX effectively improves cardiovascular fitness and gait in persons with chronic stroke.
Study Name

Biomechanics of overground vs. treadmill walking in healthy individuals

Publication Journal of Applied Physiology
Purpose The aim of this study is to assess the benefits of gait-oriented cardiovascular fitness training for older persons after stroke. Ambulatory subjects after stroke may benefit from gait-oriented cardiovascular fitness training, but trials to date have not primarily assessed older persons.

Nineteen subjects were tested, where each subject walked on a split-belt instrumented treadmill as well as over a smooth, flat surface. Comparisons between walking conditions were made for temporal gait parameters such as step length and cadence, leg kinematics, joint moments and powers, and muscle activity.

Eight subjects (4 men, 4 women) were in the age range of 50–70 yr old (means ± SD: 56.0 ± 5.6), while 11 subjects (5 men, 6 women) were between 18 and 30 yr old (means ± SD: 23.5 ± 3.3 yr).
The primary equipment used in this study was an ADAL3D-F/COP/Mz instrumented split-belt treadmill (TECHMACHINE, Andrézieux, France; see Ref. 3 for detailed description).  


Overall, very few differences were found in temporal gait parameters or leg kinematics between treadmill and overground walking. Conversely, sagittal plane joint moments were found to be quite different, where during treadmill walking trials, subjects demonstrated less dorsiflexor moments, less knee extensor moments, and greater hip extensor moments. Joint powers in the sagittal plane were found to be similar at the ankle but quite different at the knee and hip joints. 

Differences in muscle activity were observed between the two walking modalities, particularly in the tibialis anterior throughout stance, and in the hamstrings, vastus medialis and adductor longus during swing. While differences were observed in muscle activation patterns, joint moments and joint powers between the two walking modalities, the overall patterns in these behaviors were quite similar. 

However, with analysis of the data, we found that there were no age-related differences in any of the metrics we examined.


From a therapeutic perspective, this suggests that training individuals with neurological injuries on a treadmill appears to be justified.

Our findings suggest that while temporal gait parameters and kinematic patterns are similar between treadmill and overground walking, the muscle activation patterns and joint moments and powers used to achieve these movement patterns are often different. Although such effects may lead to differences in motor strategies, from a therapeutic perspective, the overall kinematic and muscle activation patterns appear to be similar enough that training individuals with neurological injuries (e.g., stroke and spinal cord injury) on a treadmill appears justified

Study Name

Sustained Improvement of Arterial Blood Oxygenation, Maximum Oxygen Consumption and Maximum Walking Distance after Treadmill Training in Healthy Elderly Subjects?

Publication The Open Public Health Journal
Purpose To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of treadmill training on SaO2, maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and maximum walking distance in elderly healthy subjects. Design. Intervention study Setting. El Salam General Hospitals, Cairo (Egypt).

Our study included 41 subjects, 20 men and 21 women, with mean age of 65.1 + 2.7 years (Range 60-69). All participants appeared healthy, without chronic diseases and passed the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test.

Participants were incorporated in a treadmill-training program of moderate intensity to attain a fraction of 60% to 70% of the maximum heart rate. After 12 weeks of controlled physical activity, the program was made voluntarily for 36 weeks.

Measurements: SaO2, VO2 max and maximum walking distance were measured for each individual one-week before and 12 weeks after training and at the 30th and the 48th week of the program.

Results An increase in the mean values of SaO2, VO2 max and maximum walking distance after 12 weeks of controlled exercise and also at the 30th week and the 48th week of the program (P<0.05). There has been a decrease in the mean values of VO2 max, SaO2 and maximum walking distance after the 30th and 48th week in comparison with the values after the first 12 weeks.
Conclusion Controlled treadmill training for 12 weeks improved SaO2, VO2 max and maximum walking distance of the participants. The mean values of the participants decreased after the 30th and 48th week due to lack of adherence to the unsupervised program.
Study Name

The efficacy of treadmill training with and without projected visual context for improving walking ability and reducing fall incidence and fear of falling in older adults with fall-related hip fracture: a randomized controlled trial

Publication BMC Geriatrics
Purpose The present study was conducted to compare the efficacy of adaptability treadmill training, conventional treadmill training and usual physical therapy in improving walking ability and reducing fear of falling and fall incidence in older adults during rehabilitation from a fall-related hip fracture.

In this parallel-group, open randomized controlled trial, seventy older adults with a recent fall-related hip fracture (83.3 ± 6.7 years, mean ± standard deviation) were recruited from inpatient rehabilitation care and block randomized to six weeks inpatient adaptability treadmill training (n = 24), conventional treadmill training (n = 23) or usual physical therapy (n = 23). Group allocation was only blind for assessors. Measures related to walking ability were assessed as the primary outcome before and after the intervention and at 4-week and 12-month follow-up. Secondary outcomes included general health, fear of falling, fall rate and proportion of fallers.

Results Measures of general walking ability, general health and fear of falling improved significantly over time. Significant differences among the three intervention groups were only found for the Functional Ambulation Category and the dual-task effect on walking speed, which were in favor of respectively conventional treadmill training and adaptability treadmill training.

Overall, adaptability treadmill training, conventional treadmill training and usual physical therapy resulted in similar effects on walking ability, fear of falling and fall incidence in older adults rehabilitating from a fall-related hip fracture.

Additional post hoc subgroup analyses, with stratification for pre-fracture tolerated walking distance and executive function, revealed several intervention effects in favor of adaptability and conventional treadmill training, indicating superiority over usual physical therapy for certain subgroups. Future well-powered studies are necessary to univocally identify the characteristics of individuals who will benefit most from a particular intervention.

Study Name

Does Treadmill Exercise Improve Performance of Cognitive or Upper-Extremity Tasks in People With Chronic Stroke? A Randomized Cross-Over Trial

Publication Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Purpose Objective: To determine whether acute exercise, using a body-weight–supported treadmill, improves performance on subsequent cognitive tests or an upper-extremity task in people with stroke.
Methods Design: The study was a within-subject, cross-over design in which 21 subjects received, randomly, 2 different testing sequences separated by an interval of 7 to 10 days.
Setting: Outpatient department of a rehabilitation hospital.
Participants: Of 72 potential participants in the convenience sample, 21 people with chronic stroke completed the study. They were 0.5 to 5 years after only 1 documented stroke, were able to walk with or without a cane, were able to grasp with the affected hand, and scored more than 24 on the Mini-Mental State Examination.
Interventions: One session of body-weight-supported treadmill walking for 20 minutes at 70% of estimated heart rate reserve or level 13 on the Borg rating of perceived exertion scale. The control condition consisted of a 20-minute review of a home exercise program with a physiotherapist.
Main Outcome Measures: Cognitive tests included Trail Making Tests Parts A and B, Symbol Digit Substitution Test, and Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test. The Action Research Arm Test (ARAT) measured hemiplegic upper-extremity motor skill.
Results Treadmill exercise improved movement of the hemiplegic upper extremity (P=.04) but not cognitive performance. The improvement in the ARAT occurred without a change in strength (measured by grip strength) and was negatively correlated with maximum treadmill speed (R2=.20; P=.04).
Conclusion These findings suggest that acute treadmill exercise improves subsequent skilled movement of the hemiplegic upper extremity that seems unrelated to attention, visuomotor processing, or strength. The etiology and duration of this enhancing effect are worth further study. The existence of an exercise-cognition relationship in people with stroke is an intriguing area of future research.
Study Name

Six Weeks of Intensive Treadmill Training Improves Gait and Quality of Life in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study

Publication Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Purpose Objective: To evaluate the effects of 6 weeks of intensive treadmill training on gait rhythmicity, functional mobility, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Methods Design: An open-label, before-after pilot study.
Setting: Outpatient movement disorders clinic.
Participants: Nine patients with PD who were able to ambulate independently and were not demented. Mean age was 70±6.8 years. Patients had mild to moderate PD (Hoehn and Yahr stage range, 1.5−3).
Interventions: Patients walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes during each training session, 4 training sessions a week, for 6 weeks. Once a week, usual overground walking speed was re-evaluated and the treadmill speed was adjusted accordingly.
Main Outcome Measures: The 39-item Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39), motor part of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), gait speed, stride time variability, swing time variability, and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB).
Results A comparison of the measures taken before and after the treadmill intervention indicates general improvement. QOL, as measured by the PDQ-39, was reduced (improved) from 32 to 22 (P<.014). Parkinsonian symptoms, as measured by the UPDRS, decreased (improved) from 29 to 22 (P<.043). Usual gait speed increased from 1.11 to 1.26m/s (P<.014). Swing time variability was lower (better) in all but one patient, changing from 3.0% to 2.3% (P<.06). Scores on the SPPB also improved (P<.008). Interestingly, many of the improvements persisted even 4 weeks later.
Conclusion These results show the potential to enhance gait rhythmicity in patients with PD and suggest that a progressive and intensive treadmill training program can be used to minimize impairments in gait, reduce fall risk, and increase QOL in these patients.
Study Name

Treadmill training improves fitness reserve in chronic stroke patients

Publication Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Purpose Objective: To investigate the hypothesis that treadmill training will improve peak fitness, while lowering the energy cost of hemiparetic gait in chronic stroke patients.
Methods Design: Noncontrolled exercise intervention study with repeated-measures analysis.
Setting: Hospital-based senior exercise research center.
Participants: Twenty-three patients (mean age ± standard deviation [SD] 67 ± 8yr) with chronic hemiparetic gait after remote (>6mo) ischemic stroke.
Intervention: Three 40-minute sessions of treadmill exercise weekly for 6 months.
Main Outcome Measures: Peak exercise capacity (VO2peak) and rate of oxygen consumption during submaximal effort treadmill walking (economy of gait) by open circuit spirometry and ambulatory workload capacity before and after 3 and 6 months of training.
Results Patients who completed 3 months of training (n = 21) increased their VO2peak ± SD from 15.4 ± 2.9mL · kg−1 · min−1 to 17.0 ± 4.4mL · kg−1 · min−1 (p <.02) and lowered their oxygen demands of submaximal effort ambulation from 9.3 ± 2mL · kg−1 · min−1 to 7.9 ± 1.5mL · kg−1 · min−1 (p =.002), which enabled them to perform the same constant-load treadmill task using 20% less of their peak exercise capacity (62.3% ± 17.2% vs 49.9% ± 19.3%, p <.002). Gains in VO2peak and economy of gait plateaued by 3 months, while peak ambulatory workload capacity progressively increased by 39% (p <.001) over 6 months.
Conclusion Treadmill training improves physiologic fitness reserve in chronic stroke patients by increasing VO2peak while lowering the energy cost of hemiparetic gait, and increases peak ambulatory workload capacity. These improvements may enhance functional mobility in chronic stroke patients.
Study Name

Resource Manual for Active Seniors

Publication International Institute for Sport and Human Performance, University of Oregon
Purpose This paper provides organized information on topics of interest for active seniors, including exercises.
Methods This manual includes articles on various topics related to exercises for seniors, such as:
1. The Benefit of Exercise
2. The Proper Way to Stretch
3. Working Out in the Water
4. Walking is a Workout
5. Ideas for Resistance Training
6. Working Out at Home with Exercise Bands
7. Dance
8. Fitness and Exercise
9. Lap Swimming
10. Stretching
11. Tai Chi and Qigong
12. Walking
13. Yoga
Conclusion This paper is a resource manual for active seniors and includes refferences to studies/articles, assesses benefits of various exercises and offers some tips for acvtive seniors.
Study Name

Programs on People Older Than 80 Years

Publication Rejuvenation Research
Purpose This study aimed at comparing the effects of three chair-based exercise programs on people older than 80 years.
Methods Thirty-six participants (87.91 ± 4.70 years) were randomly allocated to an aerobic, muscular resistance, or joint mobility exercise program. The participants exercised 3 days per week during 3 months. A hand-held dynamometer, the Tinetti Gait Balance, the Barthel Index, and the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG) (assessed by means of the Wiva® science sensor) were used to evaluate the effects of the programs on the participants’ strength, balance, functional independence, and functional mobility, respectively.
Results After the intervention, it was observed that only the elastic-band program resulted in significant improvements in strength and balance.
Conclusion These results imply that when choosing a low-cost exercise program for very old people, the use of elastic bands stands as a far better option than pedaling on a pedal exerciser or performing mobility exercises.
Study Name

Effects of Resistance Training on Functional Ability in Elderly Individuals

Publication American Journal of Health Promotion
Purpose Purpose: Determine the effects of 16 weeks of strength training using Thera-Band resistive bands on measures of functional ability in elderly who are functionally limited.
Methods Design: Quasi-experimental trial in which elderly volunteers were assigned to either an exercise group or a control group.
Participants: Eighty-seven participants (65–93 years) living independently but with some functional limitations.
Intervention: Thirteen different strength training exercises using Thera-Band resistive bands (Hygenic Corporation, Akron, Ohio). The program was 16 weeks in duration, and the frequency was three times per week. Participants exercised in a group setting one time per week and were given a home exercise book to follow for two additional sessions per week.
Measures: Functional ability was operationalized to include a variety of measures related to functional ability that impact activities of daily living, morbidity, and mortality in the elderly, including upper- and lower-body strength and gait.
Analysis: Intervention effects were analyzed using a 2 (groups: exercise group vs. control group) X 3 (time: baseline vs. mid vs. post) analysis of variance.
Results exercise group demonstrated significant improvements in upper-body strength as measured by biceps curl and lower-body strength as measured by chair sit-to-stand.”}” data-sheets-userformat=”{“2″:14783,”3”:{“1″:0,”3″:1},”4”:{“1″:2,”2″:15724527},”5”:{“1”:[{“1″:2,”2″:0,”5”:{“1″:2,”2”:0}},{“1″:0,”2″:0,”3”:3},{“1″:1,”2″:0,”4″:1}]},”6”:{“1”:[{“1″:2,”2″:0,”5”:{“1″:2,”2”:0}},{“1″:0,”2″:0,”3”:3},{“1″:1,”2″:0,”4″:1}]},”7”:{“1”:[{“1″:2,”2″:0,”5”:{“1″:2,”2”:0}},{“1″:0,”2″:0,”3”:3},{“1″:1,”2″:0,”4″:1}]},”8”:{“1”:[{“1″:2,”2″:0,”5”:{“1″:2,”2”:0}},{“1″:0,”2″:0,”3”:3},{“1″:1,”2″:0,”4″:1}]},”10″:0,”11″:4,”14”:{“1″:3,”3″:1},”15″:”Arial”,”16″:9}”>The exercise group demonstrated significant improvements in upper-body strength as measured by biceps curl (F[2,140] = 39.870; p < .05) and lower-body strength as measured by chair sit-to-stand (F[2,124] = 25.887; p < .05). Gait velocity (F[2,140] = 37.317; p < .05) and step length (F[2,140] = 4.182; p < .05) both increased for the exercise group at week 9, but this increase disappeared by week 17. Compared with minimal changes in the control group, the exercise group demonstrated significant improvements in upper-body strength as measured by biceps curl and lower-body strength as measured by chair sit-to-stand.
Conclusion Some measures of function ability were improved after a 16-week structured exercise program for functionally limited elderly. Because functional ability has been inversely correlated with short-term morbidity and the need for assisted living among older adults, providing opportunities to exercise is crucial to future functioning and independence of the elderly population. (Am J Health Promot 2011;25[4]:237–243.)
Study Name

The Effects of Functional Training, Bicycle Exercise, and Exergaming on Walking Capacity of Elderly Patients With Parkinson Disease: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Single-blinded Trial

Publication Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Purpose Objectives: To compare the effects of functional training, bicycle exercise, and exergaming on walking capacity of elderly with Parkinson disease (PD).
Methods Design: A pilot randomized, controlled, single-blinded trial.
Setting: A state reference health care center for elderly, a public reference outpatient clinic for the elderly.
Participants: Elderly individuals (≥60 years of age; N=62) with idiopathic PD (stage 2 to 3 of modified Hoehn and Yahr staging scale) according to the London Brain Bank.
Intervention: The participants were randomly assigned to three groups. Group 1 (G1) participated in functional training (n=22); group 2 (G2) performed bicycle exercise (n=20), and group 3 (G3) trained with Kinect Adventures (Microsoft, Redmond, WA) exergames (n=20).
Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was the 6-minute walk test (6MWT); secondary outcome measures were the 10-m walk test (10MWT), sitting-rising test (SRT), body mass index, Parkinson Disease Questionnaire-39, World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0), and 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale.

The G2 participants performed aerobic training on a stationary bicycle. In the first week, training was titrated to 50% of maximum heart rate, increasing progressively to 75% in the eighth week. In the first week, we used 50% of maximum heart rate, in the second and third week 55%, in the fourth and fifth weeks 65%, in the sixth and seventh weeks 70%, and in the eighth week 75%. The Karvonen formula20 was used to determine heart rate training goals for each session. During all exercise sessions the heart rate was verified with a heart rate monitor and patients were encouraged to achieve the heart rate training.

Results All groups showed significant improvements in 6MWT (G1 P=.008; G2 P=.001; G3 P=.005), SRT (G1 P<.001; G2 P=.001; G3 P=.003), and WHODAS 2.0 (G1 P=.018; G2 P=.019; G3 P=.041). Only G3 improved gait speed in 10MWT (P=.11). G1 (P=.014) and G3 (P=.004) improved quality of life. No difference was found between groups.
Conclusion Eight weeks of exergaming can improve the walking capacity of elderly patients with PD. Exergame training had similar outcomes compared with functional training and bicycle exercise. The three physical exercise modalities presented significant improvements on walking capacity, ability to stand up and sit, and functionality of the participants.
Study Name

The Effect of Thera Band Exercise on Muscle Flexibility, Balance Ability, Muscle Strength in Elderly Women

Publication Journal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing
Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of thera band exercise on muscle flexibility, balance ability, muscle strength and self-rated health in elderly women.
Methods The quasi-experimental research design (one-group pretest-post test) was employed. Participants were recruited in S-city and a total of 14 elderly women completed 15-week thera band exercise. Descriptive statistics, paired t-test and McNemar-test were used in data analysis by SPSS/WIN 12.0.
Results Compared with those before participation, the participants showed higher muscle flexibility, balance ability, and muscle strength after participation in thera band exercise.
Conclusion Findings of this study indicated that the 15-week thera band exercise program had a favorable effect on muscle flexibility, balance ability and muscle strength of elderly women. Future research needs to develop combined exercise programs with other types of exercise for the health of elderly women.
Study Name

Effects of elastic band exercises on physical ability and muscular topography of elderly females

Publication Journal of Physical Therapy Science
Purpose This study examined the effects of band exercise types on the physical ability and muscular topography for elderly females.
Methods Twenty-six females older than 65 years were divided into the dynamic band exercise (DBE; n=13) group and the Static band exercise (SBE; n=13) group. Each participant performed 12 weeks of elastic band exercises. Physical abilities were measured by leg extension power, sitting trunk flexion, closed eyes foot balance, and time to get up. Changes in muscle topography were evaluated with Moire measurement equipment for the chest, abdomen, and lumbar region. All results were compared before and after 12 weeks of exercise.
Results Changes in physical ability were significantly increased in both groups. The scores for the muscular topography of the chest, abdomen, lumbar region, and all body parts was significantly improved in both groups for closed eyes foot balance. There were more improvements in the DBE group.
Conclusion types of static and dynamic elastic band exercises effectively changed the physical fitness and muscle topography of elderly females. Therefore, to increase the effects of exercise, dynamic band exercises are considered useful. Because band exercises are simple, they can be used to maintain the health of elderly people."}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":14781,"3":{"1":0,"3":1},"5":{"1":[{"1":2,"2":0,"5":{"1":2,"2":0}},{"1":0,"2":0,"3":3},{"1":1,"2":0,"4":1}]},"6":{"1":[{"1":2,"2":0,"5":{"1":2,"2":0}},{"1":0,"2":0,"3":3},{"1":1,"2":0,"4":1}]},"7":{"1":[{"1":2,"2":0,"5":{"1":2,"2":0}},{"1":0,"2":0,"3":3},{"1":1,"2":0,"4":1}]},"8":{"1":[{"1":2,"2":0,"5":{"1":2,"2":0}},{"1":0,"2":0,"3":3},{"1":1,"2":0,"4":1}]},"10":0,"11":4,"14":{"1":3,"3":1},"15":"Arial","16":9}”>Two types of static and dynamic elastic band exercises effectively changed the physical fitness and muscle topography of elderly females. Therefore, to increase the effects of exercise, dynamic band exercises are considered useful. Because band exercises are simple, they can be used to maintain the health of elderly people.


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