ORIGINAL ARTICLE
IMBALANCE AND FALL-RISK IMPROVEMENTS IN THE ELDERLY: EFFECTS OF COMBINED STRENGTH AND AEROBIC TRAINING
Joana Carvalho 3, A,D-G  
,  
Rubim Santos 1, A,E-F  
,  
Adjane Cesar 3, A-D,F-G  
 
 
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1
Escola Superior de Saúde, Politécnico do Porto, Portugal
2
Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia - Serviço de Otorrinolaringologia - Gabinete de Audiologia, Ministério da Saúde, Portugal
3
Faculdade de Desporto, Universidade do Porto, Portugal
A - Research concept and design; B - Collection and/or assembly of data; C - Data analysis and interpretation; D - Writing the article; E - Critical revision of the article; F - Final approval of article;
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Paulo Jorge Quintela Cardoso do Carmo   

Escola Superior de Saúde, Politécnico do Porto, Portuga, Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia - Serviço de Otorrinolaringologia - Gabinete de Audiologia, Ministério da Saúde, Portugal, email: pjq@ess.ipp.pt, tel. +35 19 65665465
Publication date: 2020-03-31
 
J Hear Sci 2020;10(1):41–47
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
Falls among the elderly are an important clinical and health problem due to their high incidence and their functional and social repercussions. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a combined strength and aerobic exercise program (EP) on the fall risk (FR) in older adults by use of a measure of postural stability.

Material and methods:
Sixty-two elderly people (69.0 ± 4.3 years, 39 females and 23 males) were assigned to an experimental group (EG) or a control group (CG) and tested using the Biodex Balance System in order to obtain a fall-risk score at baseline (M1), after 4.5 months (M2), and 9 months (M3). Measures of physical activity (use of accelerometers for 7 consecutive days) as well as socio-economic status, clinical problems, and medication were also taken; these factors were identified as potential confounders. The EG underwent a 9-month, three times a week, combined training program consisting of 1-hour sessions of strength (once a week) and aerobic exercise (twice a week).

Results:
The combined training program had a large and significant effect on FR (EG vs. CG) (F(2,120) = 4.519; p = 0.013; ηp2 = 0.07; statis-tical power (π) = 0.76). This was more pronounced from M1 to M2 than from M2 to M3, with a significant improvement (p < 0.001) in FR from M1 to M3. In the CG, there was a slight but non-significant functional decline (p = 0.92) between M1 and M3.

Conclusions:
A 9-month combined EP may have beneficial effects on FR of elderly men and women as a result of improved postural stability.

 
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