Positive Effects of Group Exercises Using a Resistance Band on Trunk Balance of Elderly Thais in Rural Communities
Keywords:elderly, exercise, resistance band, trunk balance, fall
Objectives: To determine the effects of a group exercise program using a resistance band on the trunk balance of elderly Thais in rural communities.
Study design: A quasi-experimental study.
Setting: Ten villages in two districts of Phayao Province, Thailand.
Subjects: A total of 196 elderly people aged over 60.
Methods: The ten villages were randomly divided into two groups of five, the exercise (EX) villages group and the non-exercise (NE) villages group. Participants in both groups, village residents age > 60 were given instruction on the risks and prevention of falls, but only the EX group received training and then participated in group exercises using a low resistance band (a yellow Thera-Band®) for 30 minutes 3 times a week for 8 weeks. They were evaluated using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test before and at the end of the study. Comparisons were made both within groups and between groups using the dependent t-test and the independent t-test. The occurrence of falls in the 6 months prior to the study and falls during the study were also recorded.
Results: At the conclusion of the study, the EX group (n = 99) had a significant higher BBS score and a shorter TUG time (p < 0.001) than before the exercise program, while the NE group (n = 97) had a significantly lower BBS score and a longer TUG time (p < 0.001) than at the start of the study. The BBS scores of the EX group were significantly higher than those of the NE group (independent t-test, p < 0.001) and their TUG times were also significantly lower (Gaussian process regression, mean difference -1.22 (95%CI = -1.68, -0.75, p < 0.001). Of the EX group participants, 28.2% reported a fall in the six months prior to the study as did 25.5% in the NE group. No falls were reported by either group during the 8 weeks of the study.
Conclusions: A 30-minute session of group exercises using a low resistance band 3 times a week for 8 weeks can have positive effects on the trunk balance and mobility of elderly indivi-duals living in rural communities.
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