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Clin Rehabil. 2017 Apr;31(4):478-486. doi: 10.1177/0269215516655857. Epub 2016 Jul 10.

Combined exercise is more effective than aerobic exercise in the improvement of fall risk factors: a randomized controlled trial in community-dwelling older men.

Author information

1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.
2 Research Center in Sport Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.
3 Public Health Unit, ACES Douro I-Marão e Douro Norte, Vila Real, Portugal.
4 Research Center in Physical Activity, Health and Leisure, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.



To compare the long-term effects of two community-based exercise programs on fall risk factors, such as balance, postural control, mobility and leg strength, in community-dwelling older men.


Single-blinded randomized controlled trial, comparing three groups, with follow-ups at eight, 16, 24 and 32 weeks.


Older men independent-living residing in Maia city, Portugal.


A total of 66 older men (aged 69.0 ±4.9 years) were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group ( n = 22), a combined aerobic and resistance exercise group ( n = 22) or a control group ( n = 22).


Both community-based exercise programs consisted of three sessions each week for 32 consecutive weeks and were planned for moderate-to-vigorous intensity. The control group had no exercise intervention.


Main outcomes were measured by the Timed Up and Go Test, functional reach test, 30-second chair stand test and 6-minute walk test, on five different occasions.


Repeated measures of analysis of covariance revealed significant main effects between time × group interaction in all outcomes over time (Timed Up and Go Test: p < 0.001; functional reach test: p = 0.002; 30-second chair stand: p = 0.001; 6-minute walk test: p < 0.001). Both exercise groups reported improvements; however, better performance was identified in the combined aerobic and resistance exercise group compared with the aerobic exercise group (-20.3% vs. -9.1% on the Timed Up and Go Test, +27.5% vs. +10.9% on the functional reach test, +20.8% vs. +7.3% on 30-second chair stand, +10.9% vs. +3.5% on 6-minute walk test).


Adding resistance exercise to aerobic exercise improves factors associated with an increased risk of falls. However, both exercise regimes, combined or aerobic alone, are more effective than no exercise in the reduction of fall risk factors. #NCT01874132.


Aging; community programs; long-term follow-up; resistance exercise; risk of falls

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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