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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Apr;59(4):594-602. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2011.03356.x. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Short-term, light- to moderate-intensity exercise training improves leg muscle strength in the oldest old: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Geriatric Department, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain. jserra.hgugm@salud.madrid.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the effects of an 8-week exercise training program with a special focus on light- to moderate-intensity resistance exercises (30-70% of one repetition maximum, 1RM) and a subsequent 4-week training cessation period (detraining) on muscle strength and functional capacity in participants aged 90 and older.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial performed during March to September 2009.

SETTING:

Geriatric nursing home.

PARTICIPANTS:

Forty nonagenarians (90-97) were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group (16 women and 4 men per group).

INTERVENTION:

Eight-week muscle strength exercise intervention focused on lower limb strength exercises of light to moderate intensity.

MEASUREMENTS:

PRIMARY OUTCOME:

1RM leg press.

SECONDARY OUTCOMES:

handgrip strength, 8-m walk test, 4-step stairs test, Timed Up and Go test, and number of falls.

RESULTS:

A significant group by time interaction effect (P=.02) was observed only for the 1RM leg press. In the intervention group, 1RM leg press increased significantly with training by 10.6 kg [95% confidence interval (CI)=4.1-17.1 kg; P=.01]. Except for the mean group number of falls, which were 1.2 falls fewer per participant in the intervention group (95% CI=0.0-3.0; P=.03), no significant training effect on the secondary outcome measures was found.

CONCLUSION:

Exercise training, even of short duration and light to moderate intensity, can increase muscle strength while decreasing fall risk in nonagenarians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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