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This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Ruesi Dadton, or self-stretching (chest exercise posture), on chest expansion, respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary function in 25 healthy persons, aged 50 to 90 years, in Maha Sarakham’s Kaeng Loeng Chan subdistrict community. Each participant practised the chest-trouble therapy posture of Ruesi Dadton for 30 minutes, 3 times a week every other day for 4 weeks. Before and after exercise, the subjects were assessed for chest expansion, respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary function. Data were collected and then analyzed using descriptive statistics and t-test, using the significance level of 0.05. The findings revealed that after exercise the subjects had significant decreases (p<0.05) in heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and they also showed a significant increase (p<.001) in vital capacity (VC) compared to those before exercise. Moreover, after exercise, their forced vital capacity (FVC), maximal inspiratory pressure functional residual capacity, sniff nasal pressure (PImaxRV, Pnsn) and chest expansion values were significantly higher (p< 0.05) than before exercise. It is thus concluded that the practice of chest exercise posture of Ruesi Dadton helps improve chest expansion, respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary function for healthy Thais aged 50 years and over. Therefore, this posture of Ruesi Dadton should be an alternative exercise program for promoting pulmonary function in bed-bound elderly patients.
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