The benefits of a functional exercise circuit for older adults

Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion, Florida Atlantic University, Davie, Florida 33314, USA.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Impact Factor: 2.08). 08/2005; 19(3):647-51. DOI: 10.1519/R-14964.1
Source: PubMed


The physical benefits of a functional exercise circuit are not well known in an elderly population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a functional exercise circuit on mobility and perceived health in the elderly. Subjects were 119 men and women (aged 74 [+/-4.2] years) who received pre- and posttests of mobility (e.g., sit to stand, get up and go, timed walk), flexibility (sit and reach), and balance (standing reach) and who completed the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). A supervised functional exercise circuit that included 10 different upper- and lower-body exercises performed under time constraints was performed 3 times per week for 12 consecutive weeks. Paired t-tests showed significant differences at posttest for the get up and go (p < 0.001), standing reach (p < 0.001), sit and reach (p < 0.001), and selected items from the SF-36, including physical functioning (p < 0.001), pain (p = 0.001), vitality (p = 0.001), and number of doctor visits (p < 0.001). A functional exercise circuit such as the one employed in this study may offer promise as an effective means of promoting mobility and perceived health in older adults.

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