TRAMPOLINE EXERCISES FOR OLDER PERSONS TO IMPROVE HEALTH AND FITNESS
Roberta Bulotaitė, Kristina Visagurskienė Lithuanian Sports University, Kaunas
Relevance of the research. Nowadays various forms of physical activity are offered to older persons to improve their physical and emotional condition. Mini trampoline exercises are one of them. Trampoline exercises are seen as an effective intervention to improve the functional conditions of the ageing body (Giagazoglou et al., 2015). This form of physical activity for seniors is rather new and needs deeper investigation. The review of research on the development of physical activity results has revealed that there are few papers analysing the effect of mini trampoline exercises on the physical and emotional condition. The scientific publications found prove the positive effect of mini trampoline exercises on improving balance, coordination, adaptation and readjustment in the environment, the strength of leg muscles and mobility, for reducing limb muscle imbalance, and increasing joint range of motion (Hanachi, Kaviansi, 2010; Aragão et al., 2011; Miklitsch et al., 2013; Atilgan, 2013). These exercises can be recommended as an alternative physical activity to improve balance and motor coordination. The improvement in balance performance, which is especially relevant for fall prevention, can be explained by the changes caused by the complex sensorimotor stimulation when exercising subjects try to adapt to the unsteady trampoline base and maintain their balance (Giagazoglou et al., 2015). The aim of the research is to evaluate the effect of mini trampoline exercises on health and physical capacity in older adults.
Research methods and organization. Two groups of older women, the experimental group (n = 18, age average 68 ± 8.5 years) and the control group (n = 18, age average 71 ± 7.6 years) were involved in the study. Physical capacity of both groups was tested (fall risk screening; age-related changes in balance performance; gait speed, leg muscle strength, mobility and coordination) (Sigmorile, 2011) before and after the intervention. The experimental group was asked to fill in the self-assessment questionnaire by observing the changes in sleep, appetite, general well-being, emotional control, arterial blood pressure. Women of the experimental group had low and average intensity workouts on mini trampolines twice a week for one month. Women of the control group were not involved in exercising. Tests and exercises were conducted in Lithuanian Sports University where exercising safety and workout intensity was ensured.
Results and discussion. The study results showed a statistically reliable improvement of physical performance, namely balance, coordination, leg muscle strength and mobility, in the experimental group (p < 0.05) after the intervention. In the control group the physical capacity test results have not changed or slightly deteriorated (p < 0.05). The comparison of physical capacity test results between the study groups showed that the results of women in the experimental group were almost twice better than the results in the control group. The reliable difference between certain tests results was even three times. The selfassessment results among the experimental group subjects were positive and indicated the trend of improvement in emotional and physical condition after each workout. The review of available papers reporting research into different age groups and the comparison of their findings with the findings of our study lead to the conclusion that mini trampoline exercises involve more muscle groups. Compared to exercises done on the stable surface, the same exercises done on the trampoline cause the change of muscle reaction to instability and subsequently improve not only the indicators of adaptation, readjustment and coordination, but also the results of balance, aerobic capacity, strength, the feeling of rhythm and time (Heitkamp et al., 2001; Crowther et al., 2007; Angelov, 2016).
Conclusions. Evaluation of the effect of mini trampoline exercises on the physical capacity in older adults and the comparison of test results before and after the intervention showed a statistically significant positive change in women of the experimental group (p < 0.05). The summary of self-assessment results after 8 workouts leads to the conclusion that the well-being, emotional and physical condition after onemonth intervention significantly improved, i.e. the self-assessment scores after one month were much higher compared to the scores at the start of the intervention. Mini trampoline exercises is an appropriate International Scientific-practical Symposium In collaboration with the European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity “CLIMBING THE LADDER OF LIFE, ACTIVE AND FIT” 41 Research Council of Lithuania measure to improve age-related balance impairments, to strengthen muscles, to improve the functioning of cardiovascular system, to improve emotional control and thus have an overall positive effect on older women’s health. It should be noted that although one-month intervention of mini trampoline exercises caused positive changes in physical capacity indicators and well-being of the subjects, a longer intervention and the testing of a greater number of physical capacity and health indicators would be beneficial and appropriate.