• The effect of an exercise and balance training intervention program on balance and mobility in community-dwelling older adults

      Accardo, Peter; Applied Health Sciences Program
      This thesis investigated the effect of a 12-week exercise and balance training intervention program on perceived and actual balance and mobility outcomes in healthy community-dwelling older adults. Forty-six older adults completed baseline testing including balance confidence and movement reinvestment questionnaires, and a series of balance and mobility tests. Those older adults who were randomly assigned to the intervention group participated in a 12-week program that included aerobic exercise, upper and lower body resistance training, flexibility training and balance training while those assigned to the control group were asked not to make any lifestyle changes during a 12-week control period. The same testing protocol was repeated upon completion of the 12-week intervention program or control period. The results indicated that the intervention group showed improved performance between baseline and 12-week testing sessions for two balance measures (e.g., faster Timed-Up and Go duration, fewer obstacle course errors) while there was no change observed in these measures in the control group. There was also a trend observed for higher balance confidence and less movement self-consciousness reinvestment at the 12-week compared to baseline testing session for the intervention group while no change in these measures was observed in the control group. The findings suggest that participating in 12 weeks of an exercise and balance training intervention can effect change in select perceived and actual balance outcome measures in healthy community-dwelling older adults.