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Group fitness activities on elderly: who is eligible and who is not.

  • Autori: Bianco, A; Patti, A; Centineo, V; Cataldo, MC; Tabacchi, G; Mammina, C; Palma, A
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: eedings
  • OA Link:


Introduction While it is impossible to prevent every injury, literature suggests that injury rates could be reduced by 25% if people took appropriate preventative action. On the other side, one major problem of Group Fitness Instructors is to find the right intensity/level suitable for every attendee during classes (e.g. ballroom dancing). Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the opportunity to adopt already validated function ability tests on group fitness activities with the aim to prevent injuries and maintain or increase quality of life. Methods The study was conducted with a quasi-experimental design. The Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Barthel index (BI) were administered to an experimental group (EG) and a control group (CG) of elderly persons living in an inner city area of Palermo, Italy. EG was enrolled in three classes of ballroom dancing. Participants were assessed by BI and then submitted the BBS. The exclusion criteria were: 1) persons aged less than 58; 2) persons with a diagnosis of a disabling disease; 3) ex-professional athletes; 4) for EG, no more than 2 months of previous ballroom dancing experience. Means and SD were used to report preliminary descriptive results. For the purposes of our study a score of 70% for both scales (BBS-70% and BI-70%) was identified as the threshold value between a good and a poor performance. The STATISTICA software was adopted to perform the K-S normality test. Results One hundred twenty people participated to the study. We recruited 66 people as a CG (77.2 ± 6.4 yrs; 26.4 ± 4.4 BMI) and 54 people as EG (69.3 ± 8.3 yrs; 26.6 ± 4.4 BMI). The BI and BBS of CG were 76.51 ± 32 and 31.3 ± 13.2 respectively, while the BI and BBS of EG were 97.5 ± 7.7 and 51.2 ± 5.9, respectively. The BI of CG showed 0.33 K-S values while the same analysis for SG gave 0.47. We found the same trend on BBS values of CG (0.06) compared to EG (0.22). In EG, BBS-70% included 92.6% of cases compared with 24.2% of CG. The Barthel Index indicated a very similar profile: for EG BI-70% accounted for 98.1 of cases while BI-70% of CG 69.7%. Discussion BBS and BI promise to be able to predict who is eligible to start with Group Fitness and who is not. Indeed, the majority of the elderly persons belonging to EG reported higher BBS and BI values than the 70% threshold. Larger numbers and an accurate statistical analysis are necessary to confirm these findings. Preliminary results are very encouraging. References 1. Muir SW, Berg K, Chesworth BM, Klar N, Speechley M. Modifiable Risk Factors Identify People Who Transition from Non-fallers to Fallers in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Prospective Study. Physiother Can 2010; 62 (4): 358-67. 2. Hackney ME, Earhart GM. Effects of dance on movement control in Parkinson’s disease: a comparison of Argentine tango and American ballroom. J Rehabil Med 2009; 41 (6): 475-81.