EFFECTS OF ELASTIC BAND RESISTANCE TRAINING VERSUS MULTI-SENSORY TRAINING
ON THE POSTURAL CONTROL OF INSTITUTIONALIZED WOMEN
Naliato F. L., Mendes R. D., Abrantes C. I., Sousa N. J.
Research Center in Sport Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development,
University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
Relevance of the research. Falls are a major public health problem among older adults, causing high healthcare demand and expenses (Stevens et al., 2006). It is estimated that each year approximately 30 % (of people aged 65 years and older will fall and this incidence increases in institutionalized people Rubenstein, Josephson, 2002). The age-related decreases in postural control, walking performance and muscle strength have been identified as major risk factors for falls (Rubenstein et al., 1994). Therefore, reducing fall risk in older adults is an important public health issue.
Resistance training is considered to be the best training method to increase muscle strength and also has showed effectiveness in preventing falls (Sousa, Sampaio, 2005). However, due to its characteristics, typically performed using training machines or free weight exercises, elastic resistance bands might potentially be a simple, low cost and portable alternative. According to the literature, multi-sensory exercises involving gait, balance, coordination, strength training and stretching can also enhance muscle strength, balance, and mobility in the elderly (Alfieri et al., 2010). Multi-sensory exercises can stimulate all three afferent systems (vestibular, visual and proprioception) and therefore could be an important instrument to improve postural control (Rogers et al., 2003).
The objective of this study was to analyze the efficacy of multi-sensory training versus elastic resistance bands training to improve postural control in institutionalized elderly women.
Research methods and organization. Fourty-five institutionalized elderly women (aged 72.6 ± 2.6 years) were randomly assigned into an elastic bands training group (EBT, n = 15), a multi-sensory training group (MST, n = 15), or a control group (CON, n = 15). Both training programs consisted of two weekly sessions during 12 weeks (moderate intensity, perceived exertion of 12–13 points on Borg scale). Postural control for each participant was measured before and after training by the Timed Up & Go (TUG), the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Timed One-Leg Stance (OLS) tests. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to examine the effects of training programs.
Results and discussion. ANOVA indicated a significant main effect of group (p < 0.05) for TUG, BBS and OLS, with significant differences between both training groups and CON after the 12 weeks intervention. There were no differences between EBT and MST. Significant differences were observed between pre- to post-test in the performance of the TUG (p = 0.02) but only for the MST group.
Conclusions. Both training programs were effective in increasing postural control in institutionalized elderly women. However, only MST significantly improved agility and dynamic balance after 12 weeks of training, by improving the TUG performance.