Community-Based Exercise Intervention for Gait and Functional Fitness Improvement in an Older Population: Study Protocol

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Functional fitness (FF) and gait ability in older populations have been associated with increased survival rates, fall prevention, and quality of life. One possible intervention for the improvement of FF is well-structured exercise programs. However, there are inconsistent findings regarding the effects of exercise interventions in the maintenance of gait parameters. The aim of this protocol is to develop a community-based exercise intervention targeting an older population. The intervention aim is the improvement of gait parameters and FF. A control trial with follow-up will be performed. The primary outcome variables will be plantar pressure gait parameters. The secondary outcome variables will be aerobic endurance, lower limb strength, agility, and balance. These variables will be recorded at baseline and after 12, 24, and 36 weeks, in the intervention and control groups. If effective, this protocol can be used by exercise professionals in improving community exercise programs.

Ramalho, Carnide, Santos-Rocha, André, Moniz-Pereira, Machado, and Veloso are with CIPER—Interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of Human Performance (Neuromechanics of Human Movement Research Group), FMH—Faculty of Human Kinetics, UL—University of Lisbon, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal. Ramalho and Santos-Rocha are also with IPSESDRM—Polytechnic Institute of Santarém (Instituto Politécnico de Santarém)— Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior (Escola Superior de Desporto de Rio Maior), Rio Maior, Portugal. Carnide, Moniz-Pereira, and Veloso are also with UL-FMH—University of Lisbon (Universidade de Lisboa), Faculty of Human Kinetics (Faculdade de Motricidade Humana), Cruz Quebrada, Portugal.

Address author correspondence to Rita Santos-Rocha at ritasantosrocha@esdrm.ipsantarem.pt.