Ossowski Z.1, Skrobot W.2, Cesnaitiene V. J.3
1Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Poland, 2Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Poland, 3Lithuanian Sports University, Lithuania
Relevance of the research. High muscle strength and lean mass were positively associated with BMDs. Sarcopenia is associated with low BMD and osteoporosis. Subjects with sarcopenia were two times more likely to have osteoporosis compared with normal subjects (He et al., 2015). The optimum level of muscle strength is also important predictor of functional performance in older adults (Martien et al., 2015).
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of Nordic Walking training on changes in muscle strength of postmenopausal women with low bone mass.
Research methods and organization. The subjects of this study were 17 postmenopausal women (M = 67.8 years, ± 4.8). Only non smoking women with osteopenia or osteoporosis were included in this study. Osteopenia and osteoporosis were defined according to standards of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (Czerwinski et al., 2007). The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage (3 months) recruited women did not participate in the intervention in the form of physical activities. In a second stage (next 3 months) women took part in Nordic Walking training with frequency ‒ three times a week.
Handgrip strength was measured to estimate muscle strength and was performed with a Jamar hand dynamometer. Lower extremity muscle strength was measured with the sit to stand test.
Results and discussion. Nordic Walking training had a positive effect on improving lower muscle strength of the examined women. The difference in results was 14.2 %, which was statistically significant. Similar results were received in other studies were subjects were also postmenopausal women with obese (Trabka et al., 2014) and with systolic hypertensive (Latosik et al., 2014). In the conducted studies we also noted a positive trend for increasing handgrip strength in women with low bone mass. The improvement, was not statistically significant. However statistical significant improvement in the results were achieved by researchers from South Korea who have shown an increase in handgrip strength during the 12-week period Nordic Walking training in elderly women (Song et al., 2013).
Conclusions. The study showed that Nordic Walking training is effective in improving of the lower extremity muscle strength in women with low bone mass. The results may be important in the development of intervention programs based on physical activity in prevention of sarcopenia in women with osteopenia and osteoporosis.