Benefits of a Pole Walking Program Offered by Community Organizations on Physical Fitness, Psychological Well-Being, and Cognitive Function Among Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The authors examined the effects of a 12-week pole walking program on function and well-being in 123 older adults aged 60 years and older, recruited by community organizations. The results showed a significant improvement in the participants’ upper and lower limb strength in the experimental groups compared with those in the control groups (p < .05) and a significant deterioration in the walking speed and grip strength in women in the control groups compared with those in the experimental groups (p < .05). Although not statistically significant, the results also showed a trend toward greater improvement in global cognitive function in the participants in the experimental groups (p = .076). These results suggest that a pole walking program provided in natural conditions can improve physical capabilities in older adults. Other studies are warranted to further explore the impact of pole walking programs on older adults offered in such conditions, especially their impact on cognitive functions.

Fournier and Mathieu are with the Department of Kinesiology, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Fournier and Parisien are with the Centre for Research and Expertise in Social Gerontology, Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal, Côte Saint-Luc, Quebec, Canada. Fournier is also with the Cancer and Environment Department, Comprehensive Cancer Center Léon Bérard, Lyon, France. Lussier, Bier, and Filiatrault are with the School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada; and the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Chagnon is with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Mathieu is also with the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Fournier (baptiste.fournier@umontreal.ca) is the corresponding author.
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