Date of Award
Master of Science
Warren D. Franke
Falls among older adults are a growing public health problem. Previous research suggests that the regular practice of physical activity in older adults improves balance and reduces falls. The objective of this study was to determine whether balance-specific training, in addition to regular physical activity, could improve balance in older adults, and whether there would be a dose-response to frequency of balance training.;A six-week balance-training program was conducted with 60 older adults (60-87 years) who were already participating in a regular program of physical activity. All participants continued with their regular exercise program while adding balance training in one of three doses: three 20-minute balance-training sessions/week (3-Day); one 20-minute balance-training session/week (1-Day); and no additional balance training (Control).;Participants were tested pre-and post-training and a repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant intervention effects of training for (1) single-leg-stance on the left (p=.019) and right (p=.026), (2) limits-of-stability 95% area ellipse (p=.036) and anteroposterior maximum excursion (p=.01), (3) foam eyes closed/foam eyes open mediolateral difference score (p=.008), and 4) a trend toward significance for alternate stepping (p=.053). Both 3-Day and 1-Day groups saw more improvement than controls, with the 3-Day group achieving the greatest improvements overall. The results of this study suggest that physically active older adults who exercise regularly can benefit from the addition of balance training to their current exercise program. Three 20-minute sessions per week led to the greatest improvement; however it appears that even one 20-minute session of balance training per week may lead to improvement of balance.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Kristen Kartchner Maughan
Maughan, Kristen Kartchner, "Does balance training improve balance in physically active older adults?" (2008). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 15382.