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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia
Print version ISSN 1809-9823
ALBINO, Igna Luciara Raffaeli et al. Influence of strength training and flexibility on body balance in elderly. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.1, pp.17-25. ISSN 1809-9823. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1809-98232012000100003.
INTRODUCTION: Increasing proportion of elderly people in the world population raises the discussion of disabling events in this age group, as the occurrence of falls. Reduction in joint flexibility and muscle strength are the main variable related to the major motor limitations of activities of daily living (ADLs) and high rates of reported falls in elderly. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the influence of muscle strength training and flexibility training on body balance in elderly. METHODOLOGY: The sample was composed by 22 women, from 60 to 75 years old, enrolled in two physical activity programs. Seven subjects were submitted to muscle strength program and 15 subjects were submitted to flexibility training. Body balance was evaluated before and after practicing time (Berg Balance Scale). RESULTS: It was found that both groups had significant improvement in body balance. Average scores in strength training group were 53 and 55.86 points, respectively, before and after training, while the average scores in flexibility group were 52.47 and 55.47 points, before and after training. CONCLUSION: It was found that both training improved the rates of body balance in elderly women, which likely will influence the reduction of incidence of falls and loss of physical independence, as well as better quality of life.
Keywords : Elderly; Muscle strength; Performance appraisal; Postural balance; Flexibility.