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Pan Afr Med J. 2017 Jan 24;26:35. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2017.26.35.10518. eCollection 2017.

The effect of group exercise frequency on health related quality of life in institutionalized elderly.

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Biokinetics, Exercise and Leisure Sciences (Sport Science), School of Health Sciences, UKZN, Westville Campus, Durban, South Africa.
School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Science, Medical Campus, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, Main Building, Durban, South Africa.
University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UCRISE), Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia.



The study aimed to determine the effect of group exercise frequency on health related quality of life in institutionalized elderly.


One hundred participants were recruited for voluntary participation from five aged care facilities, with inclusion being based on the outcome of a medical assessment by a sports physician. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare the effect of a 12 week group exercise programme on two groups of participants using pre-test and post-test procedures.


A significant difference was noted in social function post training 2X/week (MD = -13.85, 95% CI [-24.66, -3.38], p = 0.017, d = 0.674) and 3X/week (MD = -13.30, 95% CI [-21.81, -5.59], p = 0.003, d = 0.712) a week. Training 3X/week a week provided an additional benefit in vitality (MD = -7.55, 95% CI [-13.16, -1.91], p = 0.018, d =0. 379). Improvements in mental component summary scale post training 2X/week (MD = -4.08, 95% CI [-7.67, -0.42], p = 0.033, d = 0.425) and 3X/week (MD = -6.67, 95% CI [-10.92, -2.33], p = 0.005, d = 0.567) a week was further noted.


Mental health and social health benefits can be obtained irrespective of exercise frequency 2X/week or 3X/week. The exercise intervention at a frequency 3X/ week was more effective in improving mental component summary due to a larger effect size obtained compared to the exercise frequency of 2X/week. Additional benefits in vitality were achieved by exercising 3X/week. This may assist the elderly in preserving their independence.


Health related quality of life; aging; exercise frequency; exercise programme; institutionalization; mental health; social health

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