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A 12-Week Vigorous Exercise Protocol in a Healthy Group of Persons over 65: Study of Physical Function by means of the Senior Fitness Test

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The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject’s functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01 ), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01 ), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01 ), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01 ), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01 ). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.
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Research Article
A 12-Week Vigorous Exercise Protocol in
a Healthy Group of Persons over 65: Study of Physical
Function by means of the Senior Fitness Test
Francesco Todde,1Franco Melis,1Roberto Mura,1Massimiliano Pau,2Francesco Fois,3
Sara Magnani,1Gianfranco Ibba,1Antonio Crisafulli,1and Filippo Tocco1
1Department of Medical Sciences, Sport Physiology Laboratory, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
2Department of Mechanical, Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
3Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), Sardinia, Italy
Correspondence should be addressed to Filippo Tocco; lippo.tocco@tiscali.it
Received  December ; Revised  March ; Accepted  April 
Academic Editor: Danilo S. Bocalini
Copyright ©  Francesco Todde et al. is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly
cited.
e aim of this study was to assess the eects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a
group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE:  men and  women, aged . ±.
years). At the beginning of the study (T) and aer  months (T), each subject’s functional ability was tested for muscular strength,
agility, cardiovascular tness, exibility, and balance. e VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large
muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between % and % of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 
minutes. Five out of the  SFTs performed were found signicantly improved: Chair Stand (T . ±., T . ±., 𝑝 < 0.01),
Arm Curl (T . ±., T . ±., 𝑝 < 0.01),  min step (T . ±., T . ±., 𝑝 < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T
. ±. cm, T . ±. cm, 𝑝 < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T . ±. cm, T . ±. cm, 𝑝 < 0.01). Our results suggest that
a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over  years of
age. SFTs are an eective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.
1. Introduction
It is well known that exercise in the older population may
prevent several diseases [–]. Reduced physical activity
impairs the quality of life in elderly people with Alzheimers
Disease [], Parkinsons Disease [], and Depressive Disor-
ders []. Moreover, musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary, and
cerebrovascular decline are associated with poor physical
tness because of the cumulative eects of illness, multiple
drug intake, fatigue, and bed rest [, ]. e eects of
physical activity and exercise programs on tness and health-
related quality of life (HRQOL) in elderly adults have been
widely studied by several authors [–]. De Vries et al. []
conducted a meta-analysis focusing on elderly patients with
mobility problems and/or multimorbidity. Eighteen articles
describing a wide variety of actions were analyzed. Most
used a multicomponent training program focusing on the
combination of strength, balance, and endurance training. In
 of the  studies included, interventions were supervised
by a physical therapist. Intensity of the intervention was not
reported and the duration of the intervention varied from
 weeks to  months. is meta-analysis concluded that,
considering quality of life, the exercise versus no-exercise
studies found no signicant eects. High-intensity exercise
appearstobesomewhatmoreeectiveinimprovingphysical
functioning than low-intensity exercise. ese positive eects
are of great value in the patient population but the most
eective type of intervention remains unclear. Brovold et al.
[] recently examined the eects of high-intensity training
versus home-based exercise programs using the Norwegian
Ullevaal Model [] on a group of over--year-olds aer
discharge from hospital. ese authors based their study on
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7639842, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7639842
BioMed Research International
the Swedish Friskis-Svettis model [] which was designed by
Johan Holmsater for patients with coronaropathy to promote
their return to work and everyday activities and improve
their prognoses. is model includes three intervals of high
intensity and two intervals of moderate intensity, each one
lastingfortominutes.Includedineachiscoordination.
Exercises consist of simple aerobic dance movements and
involve the use of both upper and lower extremities to chal-
lenge postural control []. Exercise intensity was adjusted
using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale.
Moderate intensity was set between  and , and high
intensity was set between  and  on the Borg Scale.
us, little is known about the eects of monitored
vigorous exercise in elderly people. While signicant benets
for basic motor tasks (such as balance and gait) can be
achieved through dierent kinds of physical activity (i.e.,
stretching exercises, treadmill, Pilates, and strength and
balance training), no conclusive relationship has been proven
between its intensity and such improvements. Recently, Pau et
al. [] reported that spatiotemporal gait parameters and sit-
to-stand performance signicantlyimprove through vigorous
(but not light) exercises, thus suggesting that higher levels of
intensity might be more suitable in generally improving static
and dynamic daily motor tasks.
On the basis of the aforementioned consideration, this
study aimed to evaluate the eect of monitored vigorous
exercise (VE) on several functional capacities by applying the
Senior Fitness Test (SFT) [] in a group of healthy over--
year-olds.
2. Methods
2.1. Experimental Approach to the Problem. Recruitment cri-
teria were one or both of sedentariness and dysmetabolism.
us, we selected subjects who were not physically active or
involved in any exercise program; that is, they had a sedentary
lifestyle. Moreover, before entering the study, they were
carefully screened for metabolic problems which attested a
dysmetabolic status, as increased levels of plasma glucose,
free fatty acids, triglyceride, and urate in fasting state. Both
criteria were veried by means of family doctor databases of
subjects.
Exclusion criteria included major diseases or conditions
such as severe heart disease, uncontrolled hypertension,
obesity, osteoarticular pathology, and neurological disease.
Criteria were evaluated on the basis of clinical history, resting
ECG, and physical examination. Participants maintained
their lifestyles and were instructed not to take part in
any other physical programs throughout the study. At the
timeoftheinitialdesign,thestudyconsistedofa-week
randomized controlled trial with a frequency of  times a
week,  sessions in all, ending with a new assessment of
their wellness and the potential persistence of the results on
functional/physical capacities.
2.2. Subjects. Recruiting lasted  months starting from
September . Participants were recruited by means of
family doctors to whom the goal of the study was explained.
350 people invited
180 agreed
20 enrolled to
participate in
vigorous exercise
protocol
20 reached the goal
20 assigned to
control group
12 failed 8 reached the goal
170 refused
F : Flow chart showing the study trend.
e recruitment ow chart is shown in Figure . ree
hundred and y people aged  were invited to participate.
Of these, .% agreed to be included in the screening list
while .% refused to participate, mainly for family reasons
such as illness/hospitalization/old age of a family member.
Forty people were found eligible to participate in the research
protocol. Randomly, twenty were assigned to VE and twenty
to the control group. e latter were instructed not to take
part in any physical activity throughout the study period. All
the selected participants signed an informed consent. e
study was performed according to the Declaration of Helsinki
and approved by the local ethics committee on September ,
.
2.3. Procedures. According to the ACSM guidelines, the
physical activity (PA) was set between % and % of the
heart rate reserve (HRR) [] and continuously monitored
with a heart rate monitor (PolarT Coded)connectedto
a telemetry system (Hosand).
Each participant’s individual HRR was calculated accord-
ing to the Estimated Maximal Heart Rate Formula []:
HRmax =.(. ×Age).ebaselineHRvalues
were collected from all subjects for three consecutive days in
themorningrightaerwakingupandthemeanvaluewas
calculated.
Since specic characteristics of music such as rhythm and
melody have been shown to provide a strong incitement to
performing physical exercise [], a Remix Pop Music com-
pilation of the s was used as a background soundtrack for
the present training protocol.
2.4. Vigorous Exercise. e training protocol consisted of
three phases:
() Warm-Up P h a s e , up to  min.
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() Active Phase,  min, including mixed exercises.
() Recovery Phase,uptomin.
(1) Warm-Up Phase (over 60%HRR).Slow,dynamicmove-
ments of the lower-, mid-, and upper-body main muscle
groups through the full range of motion followed by static and
dynamic stretching exercises.
(2) Active Phase (between 60%and 84%HRR).Continuous
dynamic and interval training mode exercise involving large
muscle activities with an increasing level of diculty and
intensity. Subjects began with a short walk, alternated with
various step exercises (e.g., both side and forward-backward
step up and down on the platform, with alternate footsteps).
en, they went on performing alternate upper-limb lis
(while keeping inferior limbs exed) and lower limb exions
and extensions (knee lis, both side and forward-backward
leg lis, and leg curls), as a sort of brief and easy sequence
to be repeated for a xed time. Integrated multiple plane
exercises for upper and lower limbs using elastic resistances
(Xertube) completed the last part of the Active Phase. To
reach the goal of gradually augmenting the intensity of the
program, the coach continuously checked the HRR level of
subjects who were progressively increasing the duration and
thenumberofexercises.eresistanceoftheelasticbands
was also increased by one level (from very light to medium)
every  weeks.
(3) Recovery Phase (<60%HRR).Posturalcontrolandspine
mobility exercises in a quadrupedal position with the plat-
form support, exercises of static balance over either  or 
supports,eyeseitheropenorclosed,andwithcoremuscle
activation. e latter phase also included various poststretch
exercises to restore the preexercise muscle length.
e VE was conducted under continuous HR monitoring
by a professional tness coach with a degree in Motor and
Sport Science.
2.5. Description of the Senior Fitness Test (SFT). In accordance
with Rikli and Jones [], we used the following tests at the
beginning (T) of the study and aer  weeks (T).
2.5.1. 30-Second Chair Stand Test
Purpose. Its purpose is to assess lower-body strength needed
for numerous tasks such as climbing stairs, walking, and
getting out of a chair, bathtub, or car (increased ability in
performing this exercise may reduce the possibility of falling).
Description. It consists of a number of full stands from a
seated position which can be completed in  seconds with
arms folded across the chest.
2.5.2. 30-Second Arm Curl Test
Purpose. Its purpose is to assess upper-body strength needed
for performing household and other activities involving
liing and carrying things such as groceries, suitcases, and
grandchildren.
Description. It consists of a number of biceps curls that can be
completedinseconds,holdingahandweightofpounds
(. kg) for women and  pounds (. kg) for men.
2.5.3. 2-Minute Step Test
Purpose. It is an alternative aerobic endurance test to be
used when time restraints and/or space limitations impede
administering the -minute walk test.
Description. It consists of a number of full steps completed in
 minutes, raising each knee to a point midway between the
patella and the iliac crest; the score is the number of times the
rightkneereachestherequiredheight.
2.5.4. Chair Sit-and-Reach Test
Purpose. Its purpose is to assess lower-body exibility, which
is important for good posture, normal gait patterns, and
various mobility tasks, such as getting in and out of a bathtub
or car.
Description. e patient is seated in a chair with legs extended.
He/she was instructed to keep the back straight and reach the
toes with both hands. e number of inches (centimeters)
between the extended ngers and the tip of the toe was
measured.
2.5.5. Back Scratch Test
Purpose. Its purpose is to assess upper-body (shoulder)
exibility, which is important in tasks such as combing one’s
hair, putting on overhead garments, and reaching for a seat
belt.
Description. e patient put one hand over the same shoulder
with the palm touching the back and reached down the back.
He/she placed the other hand up the back from the waist
with the palm facing outwards. Pointing the middle ngers
of each hand towards each other, patient tried to touch the
ngers of each hand in the middle of the back. e number
of inches (centimeters) between the extended middle ngers
was measured. e test was always done with the right hand
overtheshoulderandthelebehindtheback.
2.5.6. 8-Foot Up and Go Test
Purpose. Its purpose is to assess the agility and dynamic
balance important in tasks that require quick maneuvering,
such as getting o a bus in time, getting up to attend
to something in the kitchen, going to the bathroom, or
answering the phone.
Description.Itisthenumberofsecondsrequiredtorisefrom
a seated position, walk  feet (. meters), turn, and resume
the seated position.
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0
5
10
15
Repetitions
T0 T1
(a)
0
5
10
15
20
25
Repetitions
T0 T1
(b)
0
50
100
150
Repetitions
T0 T1
(c)
F : Comparison between the collected results at T and T during the Chair Stand (a), the Arm Curl (b), and the  min step (c). Values
are mean ±SD. 𝑝<. versus T.
2.6. Statistical Analysis. e assumption of normality was
checked using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. e 𝛼level was
set at 𝑝 < 0.05.A𝑡-test for repeated measures was used for
statistical analysis, with a signicance level set at 𝑝 < 0.05.
e soware used for statistical analysis was Prism-GraphPad
..
3. Results
e VE group consisted of  women and  men (age . ±
. years; weight . ±. kg; height . ±. cm). e
control group consisted of  women and  men (age . ±
. years; weight . ±. kg; height . ±. cm). Only
 subjects of the VE group and  of the control group
correctly completed the trials (see Figure  and Limitation of
the Study paragraph). Adherence to protocol of the VE group
was checked daily by our motor scientist by means of a daily
record where he noted the week and participation number,
the mean HR of the sessions, the type of exercises, and the
number of repetitions per set carried out. During the training
period, no adverse events such as dizziness, musculoskeletal
pain, or cardiovascular issues were recorded. Aer  weeks,
there were signicant improvements in strength, exibility,
balance, and agility tested by SFT. T-T dierences are
shown in Figures  and . Namely,  tests out of  showed
signicant improvement: Chair Stand (T . ±.; T . ±
., 𝑝 < 0.01), Arm Curl (T . ±.; T . ±.,
𝑝 < 0.01),  min step (T . ±.; T . ±., 𝑝<
0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T . ±. cm; T . ±. cm,
𝑝 < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T . ±. cm; T . ±
. cm, 𝑝 < 0.01). Conversely, the -foot up and go test (T
. ±.  s e c ; T   .  ±. sec, 𝑝 > 0.05)showednosignicant
statistical dierence due to a high SD in T assessment.
4. Discussion
e novelty of the present study is that of demonstrating the
possibility of applying a specic vigorous physical exercise
program [] on healthy elderly adults over  years and
evaluating its eects on functional capacity using the classical
SFT []. To administer the high exercise intensity, we used a
HR control under continuous accurate visual monitoring by
a sport scientist. As expected, aer only  weeks of training,
we found signicant enhancements of almost all skills tested.
Our results clearly show that our VE program is relevant
andhasapositiveimpactonpeopleoverinhelping
them to maintain a high quality of life. e dierence from
most of the literature [–] regards the exercise protocol
intensity, which is usually milder than ours. Also, in the
aforementioned studies there was a poor attention about the
consequences of the exercise program on general quality of
life of subjects. ey mainly focused on the attenuated risks
of falling. On the contrary, the SFTs applied in our study
clearly show that our VE program may ameliorate several
motor abilities and in turn the general quality of life in healthy
elderly adults over  years of age. However, two other studies
showed that elderly people need to exercise close to their
limitofmaximumcapacity[,]toimprovetheirphysical
tness but, unlike the present research, they were conducted
on patients who were in deconditioning status linked to their
chronic illnesses.
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T0 T1
20
10
0
10
(cm)
(a)
T0 T1
30
20
10
0
(cm)
(b)
T0 T1
0
5
10
15
(Seconds)
(c)
F : Comparison between the collected results at T and T during the Chair Sit-and-Reach (a), the Back Scratch (b), and the -foot up
andgo(c).Valuesaremean±SD. 𝑝<. versus T.
Brovold et al. [] supposed the importance of an exercise
is based on a high-intensity and continuous monitoring
model because in their research a nonmonitored home-
based group did not improve their physical tness as much
as the monitored group that accomplished a high-intensity
aerobic exercise adjusted by means of the Borg Scale and
a musical pace []. However, Brovold et al. [], despite
an exercise protocol with a high-intensity aerobic interval
(HIA), found a small eect on SFT. is may be due to the
fact that the exercise protocol used by Brovold et al. [] did
not interact favorably with the skills tested by SFT. us, a
positive relationship among vigorous physical exercise []
or HIA exercise [] and the functional abilities tested by
the SFT is not fully evident. On the contrary, the vigorous
exercise protocol used here enhanced  out of  of the SFT
and seems to be more focused than the aforementioned one.
e small eect of vigorous physical exercise through the -
foot up and go test is not fully clear and may depend on
several factors: (i) a large standard deviation at T due to the
presence of two subjects who showed a very low functional
capacity; (ii) inadequacy of the exercises to improve this
ability; and/or (iii) inadequate sensitivity of an -foot up and
go test. In a recent study by Furtado et al. [] conducted
on a large number of elderly females, even though the SFT
wasusedatbaselineandaermonthsfromanintervention
program of multimodal exercise training ( days per week),
not all skills tested were found improved. However, according
to a meta-analysis [] that included  dierent exercise
studies, even a small positive eect can be considered to
be of great value in this group of individuals who are at
risk of further functional decline. In conclusion, the present
study shows that vigorous physical exercise in healthy elderly
people provides signicant improvements in the majority of
the dierent skills assessed by the SFT.
Limitation of the Study. One potential limit of the present
study undoubtedly regards the limited number of subjects
involved in the study and the operating loss of the control
group. Unfortunately, too many participants of the latter
did not satisfy the requirements during the study, thus
impeding a comparative statistical approach. Further studies
are therefore needed to conrm our conclusions, in particular
with a larger sample and control group.
5. Conclusions
e positive trend shown here is an encouraging result in this
population in relation to the possibility of increasing their
ability in performing daily activities, reducing the occurrence
of falls and potential femoral fractures. Further research is
needed to understand how to design a vigorous exercise
protocol, which may focus not only on aerobics but also
on the dierent skills assessed by the SFT and which may
include specic training sessions to enhance those particular
skills, such as -foot up and go test. To maximize the
functional/physical capacities of those over , a close link
between high-intensity exercise and functional exercises is
required. A mixed circuit training program including both
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kinds of the aforementioned exercises and measurable by SFT
should be followed.
Competing Interests
e authors declare they have no nancial or any other kind
of personal conicts with this paper.
Acknowledgments
e authors wish to thank Mr. Gianfranco Fara for his
precious cooperation. e study was supported by the Italian
National Olympic Committee (CONI), Sardinia, and the
UniversityofCagliari.eauthorsalsothankMr.DavidC.
Nilson for his linguistic and editing assistance.
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... Similar to our results, the benefits of the in-person multicomponent exercises for the older adult population were investigated, before the pandemic, showing improvement or maintenance on the physical fitness components [5,12,21]. The benefits of multicomponent exercises for the older adult population were investigated, showing that the training program with exercises of muscle strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility, presented notable improvement of functional skills and quality of life [5]. ...
... The benefits of multicomponent exercises for the older adult population were investigated, showing that the training program with exercises of muscle strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility, presented notable improvement of functional skills and quality of life [5]. Moreover, the application of a multicomponent physical exercise protocol for older adults, face-to-face indicated significant improvements in muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and agility with the Senior Fitness Test [21]. A longitudinal, 5-year investigation of multicomponent training with older adults reported improvement of cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength of the lower limbs, as well as maintenance of balance and flexibility [12]. ...
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The objective was to evaluate effects of an online exercise training program and physical fitness and health-related variables on Brazilian older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and secondarily to assess the feasibility and application of an online program. A study was developed with twenty older adults who participated in a 9-month online exercise program. The physical fitness, depressive symptoms, concern about falling, and quality of life were assessed pre- and post-intervention. One-way repeated measures ANOVA and effect size was used. The feasibility was proven by the adherence to the program, in addition to the absence of identification of adverse effects. The results showed that physical fitness was improved (upper limb strength) or maintained (lower limb strength, lower and upper limb flexibility, cardiorespiratory fitness), as well as for most of the health-related variables (depressive symptoms, concern about falling, and quality of life domains). The study was developed in the first COVID-19 lockdown in Brazil, but positive and important results were obtained. This research supports the feasibility of the online exercise training program and provides a basis for an online exercise program for older adults.
... We have set up three Kinect devices (as described in Section 3.2) that send wirelessly the registered joint data to a computer that performs the required computations to compose full human skeleton and analyse motion sequences. The subjects were informed to move within 1-3 m of distance with respect to the Kinect sensors so that the data would not be overly affected by low resolution of depth measurements and noise [61]. ...
... For a physical exercise sequence, we adopted a training protocol described in [61]. The training protocol consisted of three parts: (1) Warm-Up (10 min Table 2 shows the aggregated data for several standard and non-standard human postures. ...
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Using a single Kinect device for human skeleton tracking and motion tracking lacks of reliability required in sports medicine and rehabilitation domains. Human joints reconstructed from non-standard poses such as squatting, sitting and lying are asymmetric and have unnatural lengths while their recognition error exceeds the error of recognizing standard poses. In order to achieve higher accuracy and usability for practical smart health applications we propose a practical solution for human skeleton tracking and analysis that performs the fusion of skeletal data from three Kinect devices to provide a complete 3D spatial coverage of a subject. The paper describes a novel data fusion algorithm using algebraic operations in vector space, the deployment of the system using three Kinect units, provides analysis of dynamic characteristics (position of joints, speed of movement, functional working envelope, body asymmetry and the rate of fatigue) of human motion during physical exercising, and evaluates intra-session reliability of the system using test–retest reliability metrics (intra-class correlation, coefficient of variation and coefficient of determination). Comparison of multi-Kinect system vs single-Kinect system shows an improvement in accuracy of 15.7%, while intra-session reliability is rated as excellent.
... Physical activity is positively related to degree of independence 6 and prolonged periods of immobility increase death due to disease in this population 7 . Various studies have found that a suitable physical activity programme improves muscle strength 8,9 , aerobic endurance, agility, balance and flexibility 10,11 , which are associated with a greater ability to perform everyday activities 12 . ...
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Resumen La esperanza de vida se ha incrementado notablemente en las sociedades occidentales. El ejercicio físico adaptado a personas mayores es clave para conseguir un envejecimiento activo. Objetivos: El objetivo principal fue determinar los niveles de condición física con el Senior Fitness Test (SFT) en sujetos españoles, mayores de 80 años, activos e independientes, adscritos a un programa de Condición Física de Mayores (CFM) y compararlos con los valores estadounidenses de referencia del SFT. El objetivo secundario fue analizar los resultados de nuestra población distribuidos por sexo y edad. Material y método: Se realizó un estudio transversal en 162 participantes, (142 mujeres, 87%), a los que se les aplicó el SFT para evaluar su condición física y se les midió el Índice de Masa Corporal (IMC) para valorar su influencia sobre la condición física. Resultados: En el SFT, la muestra española presentó mejor desempeño en fuerza y agilidad y niveles más bajos en flexibilidad y resistencia que la población estadounidense de referencia. No se encontraron diferencias significativas entre sexos en la población española, excepto en la prueba de resistencia a favor de los hombres (p=0,006). El grupo mayor de 85 años presentó resultados inferiores del IMC (p=0,007), de la fuerza del tren superior (p=0,01) y de la flexibilidad del tren inferior (p=0,02). La media del IMC de la muestra estudiada fue superior a la media de la población estadounidense. Conclusiones: La muestra española es más fuerte y ágil, pero menos flexible y resistente que la población estadounidense de referencia. La capacidad funcional en nuestra población mayor de 80, es similar en ambos sexos. Palabras clave: Senior Fitness Test. Actividad física. Mayores. Envejecimiento. Summary Life expectancy has increased significantly in western societies. Physical exercise adapted to the elderly is a key factor in achieving active ageing. Objectives: Main objective was to assess the functional fitness of active, independent, over 80 years of age, Spanish subjects enrolled in a Senior Physical Fitness program using the Senior Fitness Test (SFT), and to compare the results with the SFT reference intervals. The secondary objective was to analyse the sample's results when distributed according to age and sex. Material and method: A transversal study was conducted in 162 participants (142 women, 87%). They were administered the SFT to determine their physical abilities and their BMI was calculated in order to find out its influence on their physical condition. Results: Our Spanish sample performed better in strength and agility but presented lower outcomes in endurance and flexibility when compared to the US target population. In the Spanish sample significant differences between the two sexes were only found in the resistance score, where men performed better than women, (p=0.006). Participants over 85 presented lower results in BMI (p=0,007), upper body strength (p=0.01) and lower body flexibility (p=0.02). The mean BMI of our sample was higher than that of the American population. Conclusions: The Spanish population is stronger and has more agility, but it's also less flexible and has lower endurance when compared to the American population. The Fitness condition in our population > 80 is similar in men and women.
... HRPF has been proposed as a major marker of health status. The measurements of HRPF involves cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and agility (46). As a multi-components health-related indicator, HRPF usually consists of a set of structured, repetitive physical functional tests. ...
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Objectives Health-related physical-fitness (HRPF) involves multi-components of physical functional tests and is reported to be associated with the risk of fall. The study sought to determine whether specific physical fitness components were stronger predictors of falls among elderly people.Methods This prospective cohort study involved 299 community residents age ≥60 years from Shanghai, China. The baseline data included comprehensive assessment of sociodemographic, clinical, and HRPF test. Subjects were followed for 1 year and were contacted by telephone to report falls. LASSO regression and Multivariate regression analysis were used to identify risk predictors of fall. In addition, we used receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses to determine whether the predictors have diagnostic.ResultsDuring the 1-year prospective fall assessment, 11.7% of these subjects experienced one or frequent falls. LASSO models revealed that age (=0.01) and 8-ft up-and-go test score (=0.06) were positively associated with falls, while activity-specific balance confidence (ABC; = −0.007) and 2-min step test score (= −0.005) were inversely related. The Area Under roc Curve (AUC) for a linear combination of age, ABC scale score, 2-min step test and 8-ft up-and-go test was 0.778 (95% confidence interval: 0. 700–0.857), which was superior to any of the variables taken alone.Conclusion Age, activity-specific balance confidence and fitness abnormalities were determined to contribute to the incident of falls. The value of 2-min step test score, and 8-ft up-and-go test score were the key HRPF components in predicting falls among elderly people.
... As baterias motoras têm o propósito de avaliar aptidão física dos idosos, porém não está esclarecido na literatura se as baterias motoras apresentam boa capacidade preditiva em detectar o risco de queda em idosos praticantes de exercício físico. A bateria motora Senior Fitness Test (STF) é extremamente utilizada na literatura internacional com a fi nalidade de mensurar o nível de aptidão física dos idosos 17 . Além disso, a SFT é uma bateria de fácil aplicação, baixo custo e possui valores normativos para idosos brasileiros 18,19 . ...
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Este estudo teve como objetivo analisar a capacidade da bateria motora Senior Fitness Test (SFT) em predizer o risco de queda em idosos. Participaram do estudo 53 idosos, com idade entre 60 e 80 anos. A aptidão física funcional foi avaliada através da bateria motora SFT. A Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I) foi usada para avaliar o nível da preocupação de sofrer queda dos idosos. Os testes motores da bateria SFT, agilidade/equilíbrio dinâmico e caminhada de 6 minutos apresentaram capacidade preditiva. O medo de sofrer queda, o desempenho nos testes de força de membros inferiores e o teste de caminhada de 6 minutos contribuíram para o desempenho no teste de agilidade. O baixo desempenho no teste de agilidade foi diretamente associado com a queda em idosos e com o medo de sofrer queda. Sugere-se que o testes de agilidade e de força muscular dos membros inferiores são importantes preditores de risco de queda em idosos.
... As baterias motoras têm o propósito de avaliar aptidão física dos idosos, porém não está esclarecido na literatura se as baterias motoras apresentam boa capacidade preditiva em detectar o risco de queda em idosos praticantes de exercício físico. A bateria motora Senior Fitness Test (STF) é extremamente utilizada na literatura internacional com a fi nalidade de mensurar o nível de aptidão física dos idosos 17 . Além disso, a SFT é uma bateria de fácil aplicação, baixo custo e possui valores normativos para idosos brasileiros 18,19 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Este estudo teve como objetivo analisar a capacidade da bateria motora Senior Fitness Test (SFT) em predizer o risco de queda em idosos. Participaram do estudo 53 idosos, com idade entre 60 e 80 anos. A aptidão física funcional foi avaliada através da bateria motora SFT. A Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I) foi usada para avaliar o nível da preocupação de sofrer queda dos idosos. Os testes motores da bateria SFT, agilidade/equilíbrio dinâmico e caminhada de 6 minutos apresentaram capacidade preditiva. O medo de sofrer queda, o desempenho nos testes de força de membros inferiores e o teste de caminhada de 6 minutos contribuíram para o desempenho no teste de agilidade. O baixo desempenho no teste de agilidade foi diretamente associado com a queda em idosos e com o medo de sofrer queda. Sugere-se que o testes de agilidade e de força muscular dos membros inferiores são importantes preditores de risco de queda em idosos.
... The obtained results might be compared to those of other studies involving training with aerobic and resistance exercises among older people. As observed in this research, the main time effects of marching training for both the EG and the CG on strength, endurance and agility are similar to those of other studies in which mixed exercise programs were employed [10,25,[27][28][29]. ...
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Inadequate levels of physical activity among older people lead to a gradual decline in self-reliance and consequent dependence on other people. The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of Nordic walking training with poles with an integrated resistance shock absorber on the functional fitness of older women. Forty-two women (Mage = 64.7 ± 3.15 years) were randomly assigned into the experimental group—training with poles with an integrated resistance shock absorber, EG (n = 21) and the control active group—training with classic poles, CG (n = 21). Functional fitness was measured with the Senior Fitness Test before and after an intervention lasting for 8 weeks (2 training sessions × 75 minutes per week). Two-way ANOVA revealed statistically significant interaction effects for aerobic endurance (F = 14.47, p < 0.001) and upper body strength (F = 5.98, p < 0.05), indicating greater improvement in the experimental group. Nordic walking training both with classic poles and with poles with an integrated resistance shock absorber is beneficial for older people and improves functional fitness over a short time period. However, the poles with an integrated resistance shock absorber provide additional resistance effort during marching, which causes increased muscle activation and results in improved muscle strength and aerobic endurance. Based on these results, it can be concluded that this kind of training could be applied in the complex health programs of seniors.
Conference Paper
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Aging is a normal physiological process that is individual and affects the whole organism. The most noticeable changes that occur are the loss of muscle mass and strength, and significant reduction of endurance and bone density. Therefore it can be said that aging is one of the biggest health, social and economic challenges in the 21st century. It has been proven that programmed physical exercise has a long-term effect on maintaining the body functionality, autonomy and independence, preventing falls and overall improvement of health and quality of life. The main goal of this study is to determine the effect of 12 weeks programmed exercises on the motor abilities of people older than 64. The study involved 132 participants of both sex; 62 in experimental gropu and 70 in control group. For the purposes of this study, battery of Senior Fitness Test (SFT) and standard static balance tests were used: One-legged endurance (RIJN), One-legged endurance with eyes closed (RIJNZ) and Tandem balance test (RTTR). Statistical data processing was done with the statistical package SPSS and statistics. The results of the research showed that there`s statistically significant difference (p <0.05) between experimental and control group in motor skills at the final measurement. One-factor analysis of covariance (assessment of motor skills) found a statistically significant difference (p <0.05) between experimental and control group in the results of the following variants: FUSTS, FPLTS, FFRP, FPNS, RIJN and RTTR. The value of multivariate indicators Wilks Lambda = 0.656 and Pillai's Trace = 0.349 indicate a statistically significant difference between experimental and control group in motor skills at the final measurement. This research indicates that with adequate training, older people can improve their motor skills. Further research should focus on the analysis and selection of the best training models for elderly.
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La práctica regular de actividad física sugiere un aumento de la condición física y una mejora de la composición corporal; sin embargo, a pesar de que las personas cumplen con las directrices propuestas no logran obtener buenos indicadores de condición física los cuales brindan más información acerca de la salud. Objetivo: Analizar la relación entre las capacidades físicas de fuerza prensil, potencia en piernas, consumo máximo de oxígeno, actividad física con la composición corporal en adultos. Metodología: Estudio descriptivo correlacional de corte transversal, se evaluaron 100 adultos, se valoró fuerza prensil con dinamometría, potencia en piernas con tres tipos de saltos, VO2máx, la actividad física por cuestionario IPAQ y la composición corporal con bioimpedancia eléctrica. Resultados: Los varones poseen valores mayores de capacidades físicas, masa magra y actividad física realizada con mayor intensidad en comparación con las mujeres; los resultados muestran una estrecha relación entre la práctica de actividad física realizada con intensidades moderadas y altas en relación a las capacidades físicas de fuerza prensil y potencia en piernas en aquellas personas sin peso bajo u obesidad; Además, en todas éstas, mediante el análisis Post Hoc, se encontró que las diferencias se presentan entre la actividad baja en comparación con la vigorosa y en la moderada con respecto a la vigorosa. Conclusiones: Personas con normo y sobrepeso muestran mejores capacidades físicas, así como valores elevados de actividad física, mientras que altos índices de grasa corporal total y un IMC elevado son un factor determinante para el desarrollo de las mismas. Abstract: The regular practice of physical activity suggests an increase in physical condition and an improvement in body composition, despite the fact that people comply with the proposed guidelines, they are unable to obtain good indicators of physical fitness, which provide more information about the Health. Objective: To analyze the relationship between physical capacities of grip strength, leg power, maximum oxygen consumption, physical activity and body composition in adults. Methodology: Cross-sectional correlational descriptive study, 100 adults were evaluated, grip strength was assessed with dynamometry, leg power with three types of jumps, VO2max, physical activity by IPAQ questionnaire and body composition with electrical bioimpedance. Results: Men have higher values of physical capacities, lean mass and physical activity carried out with greater intensity compared to women; The results show a close relationship between the practice of physical activity carried out with moderate and high intensities in relation to the physical capacities of grip strength and power in the legs in those without underweight or obesity; In addition, in all of these, by means of Post Hoc analysis, it was found that the differences are presented between low activity compared to vigorous activity and moderate activity compared to vigorous activity. Conclusions: Normal and overweight people show better physical capacities as well as high levels of physical activity, while high levels of total body fat and a high BMI are a determining factor for their development.
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Introduction: Motor commands to perform exercise tasks may also induce activation of cardiovascular centres to supply the energy needs of the contracting muscles. Mental stressors per se may also influence cardiovascular homeostasis. We investigated the cardiovascular response of trained runners simultaneously engaged in mental and physical tasks to establish if aerobically trained subjects could develop, differently from untrained ones, nervous facilitation in the brain cardiovascular centre. Methods : Cardiovascular responses of 8 male middle-distance runners (MDR), simultaneously engaged in mental (colour-word interference test) and physical (cycle ergometer exercise) tasks, were compared with those of 8 untrained subjects. Heart rate, cardiac (CI) and stroke indexes were assessed by impedance cardiography while arterial blood pressures were assessed with a brachial sphygmomanometer. Results : Only in MDR simultaneous engagement in mental and physical tasks induced a significant CI increase which was higher (p<0.05) than that obtained on summing CI values from each task separately performed. Conclusion : Aerobic training, when performed together with a mental effort, induced a CI oversupply which allowed a redundant oxygen delivery to satisfy a sudden fuel demand from exercising muscles by utilizing aerobic sources of ATP, thus shifting the anaerobic threshold towards a higher work load. From data of this study it may also be indirectly stated that, in patients with major depressive disorder, the promotion of regular low-intensity exercise together with mental engagement could ameliorate the perceived physical quality of life, thus reducing their heart risk associated with physical stress.
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Purpose: To compare functional fitness (FF) levels among independent-living (IL) and day care (DC) elderly women of different age groups and to analyze changes in FF after 8 months of participation in an exercise program intervention for the IL elderly women. Materials and methods: A total of 674 elderly women were divided into four IL groups with age in the range of 60–64 years (IL60–64, n=149), 65–69 years (IL65–69, n=138), 70–74 years (IL70–74, n=135), and 75–79 years (IL75–79, n=83), and four DC groups with age in the range of 60–64 years (DC60–64, n=35), 65–69 years (DC65–69, n=34), 70–74 years (DC70–74, n=47), and 75–79 years (DC75–79, n=53). The intervention consisted of a multimodal exercise train- ing, 3 days per week for 8 months. Senior Fitness Test battery performances were obtained at baseline and after 8-month intervention. Results: Significant differences were identified between all IL groups and DC groups in all FF tests (P,0.001), except between IL70–74 and DC70–74 in the chair sit-and-reach. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) identified significant improvements in all FF tests between pre- and post- tests in the IL groups (P,0.001), except in the chair sit-and-reach for the IL70–74. ANCOVA also showed a significant declining performance in all FF tests for DC groups (P,0.001), except in the chair sit-and-reach for the DC70–74 and DC75–79. Conclusion: IL women are more fit than institutionalized DC elderly women. The multimodal training was effective in improving all FF components related to daily living activities, in all age groups. In contrast, institutionalized elderly showed a clear tendency to worsen their FF over the time.
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This study aims to quantitatively assess the effects of vigorous and light physical activity (VPA, LPA) on static balance, gait and sit-to-stand (STS) tasks in a cohort of healthy older adults. To this end, 34 individuals of age >65 years were divided into two groups (n = 17 each) who underwent 36 sessions (3 × 12 weeks) of PA characterized by different levels of intensity, assessed through continuous heart rate monitoring during the training session. Their balance and mobility were objectively evaluated on the basis of postural sway and time of STS measurements performed using a force platform. The main spatiotemporal parameters of gait (i.e. speed, stride and gait cycle duration, stance, swing and double support phase duration) were also acquired using a wearable inertial measurement unit. The results show that most gait parameters and STS time significantly improve in the VPA group but not in the LPA one. For the latter group a reduction only of swing phase duration was detected. PA also induced a generalized reduction of postural sway in both groups in the case of absence of visual input. These findings suggest that PA programs characterized by superior levels of intensity might be more suitable in generally improving static and dynamic daily motor tasks, while in terms of static balance acceptable results can be achieved even when only light activity is performed.
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Introduction: Motor commands to perform exercise tasks may also induce activation of cardiovascular centres to supply the energy needs of the contracting muscles. Mental stressors per se may also influence cardiovascular homeostasis. We investigated the cardiovascular response of trained runners simultaneously engaged in mental and physical tasks to establish if aerobically trained subjects could develop, differently from untrained ones, nervous facilitation in the brain cardiovascular centre. Methods: Cardiovascular responses of 8 male middle-distance runners (MDR), simultaneously engaged in mental (colour-word interference test) and physical (cycle ergometer exercise) tasks, were compared with those of 8 untrained subjects. Heart rate, cardiac (CI) and stroke indexes were assessed by impedance cardiography while arterial blood pressures were assessed with a brachial sphygmomanometer. Results: Only in MDR simultaneous engagement in mental and physical tasks induced a significant CI increase which was higher (p<0.05) than that obtained on summing CI values from each task separately performed. Conclusion: Aerobic training, when performed together with a mental effort, induced a CI oversupply which allowed a redundant oxygen delivery to satisfy a sudden fuel demand from exercising muscles by utilizing aerobic sources of ATP, thus shifting the anaerobic threshold towards a higher work load. From data of this study it may also be indirectly stated that, in patients with major depressive disorder, the promotion of regular low-intensity exercise together with mental engagement could ameliorate the perceived physical quality of life, thus reducing their heart risk associated with physical stress.
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Background: We developed a psychomotor re-education guide (PSEG) adapted to people with Alzheimer disease (AD), including a cognitive stimulation program integrated with the exercise recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine. Aim: To evaluate the effect of the PSEG on cognitive and functional parameters among patients with AD. Patients and Methods: We applied the PSEG to 64 participants with AD aged 64 to 87 years (55% women) during 12 months. At baseline and the end of the intervention, cognitive abilities (Mini Mental State), fitness (Chair Stand test), level of independence (Barthel Index) and quality of life (QoL) (SF-12) were assessed. Results: The application of PSEG resulted in a significant improvement in the QoL and physical capacity of patients with AD. Cognitive ability declined along with disease progression. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the guide in mild and moderate stages of AD improving the physical fitness and the QoL.