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J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2014 Jul;18(3):361-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.11.002. Epub 2013 Nov 10.

The effect of Pilates based exercise on mobility, postural stability, and balance in order to decrease fall risk in older adults.

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Department of Physical Therapy, Quinnipiac University, United States. Electronic address:
Department of Physical Therapy, Quinnipiac University, United States.


Falls are a common problem in older adults. Impaired balance, mobility and postural stability are risk factors for falling. Limited research has been performed on Pilates exercise and the ability to decrease fall risk. In this quasi-experimental study, 35 adults (61-87 years old) participated in an 8-week Pilates based exercise program. Blind examiners conducted the Timed Up and Go (TUG), Forward Reach Test, and Turn 180 Test before and after the intervention. Number of falls, perception of Pilates, and fear of falling was also recorded. Thirty-two (91.4%) participants completed post-test measures. Significant improvements were seen in the TUG (p <0.001) and Turn 180 Test (p = 0.002). Improvements were also demonstrated in the Forward Reach Test (p = 0.049). A positive perception of the Pilates program and decreased fear of falling was shown. Results suggest a Pilates based exercise program may be effective in improving balance, mobility and postural stability to decrease fall risk.


Balance; Fall prevention; Physical therapy; Pilates

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