Optimization of the Effects of Physical Activity on Plantar Sensation and Postural Control With Barefoot Exercises in Institutionalized Older Adults: A Pilot Study

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Increasing somatosensory information from the foot by exercising barefoot can potentially optimize the effectiveness of physical exercise interventions on falls prevention in the older adults. This pilot study was then undertaken to explore the effects of increased somatosensory information from the foot by exercising barefoot on balance, gait, and plantar cutaneous sensitivity in institutionalized older adults involved in multimodal exercise intervention. Participants were assigned to three groups: a control group which did not perform any physical exercise and two groups in which they were involved in a multimodal exercise program performed barefoot or shod. Postural, gait, and plantar cutaneous sensitivity parameters were collected. The results showed that the exercise program produced larger effects on balance and plantar cutaneous sensitivity when exercises were performed barefoot, without any noticeable effect on gait. Hence, barefoot exercising could be a relevant means to optimize the fall-prevention exercise programs in institutionalized older adults.

Korchi, Noé, and Paillard are with the Laboratoire Mouvement, Equilibre, Performance et Santé, EA 4445, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Tarbes, France. Bru is with the Laboratoire de Mathématiques et de leurs Applications, UMR CNRS 5142, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Pau, France.

Address author correspondence to Karim Korchi at karim.korchi@etud.univ-pau.fr.
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