Training Program With Outdoor Fitness Equipment in Parks Offers No Substantial Benefits for Functional Fitness in Active Seniors: A Randomized Controlled Trial

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Outdoor fitness equipment (OFE) is installed in parks to promote health, particularly among seniors. However, no quantitative study has investigated its effectiveness. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the effectiveness of 12 weeks of OFE training on functional fitness in seniors. Forty-two active seniors were recruited and randomly assigned into OFE and control groups. The OFE group underwent 12 weeks of training using popular OFE for cardiorespiratory function, flexibility, and strength, whereas participants in the control group were asked to maintain their previous lifestyles. The senior fitness test was assessed before and after the 12-week period. Unexpectedly, the results showed no significant improvement within or between the groups after the 12-week training in all parameters (p > .05). In conclusion, the 12-week OFE training failed to enhance functional fitness among active seniors. Potential reasons for the limited training effects might be lack of resistance components and diversity of the OFE design and installation.

Y.-C. Liu is with the Office of Physical Education, Chung Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. Yang is with the Department of Sports Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan. Fang is with the Physical Education Center, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Tainan, Taiwan. Pan is with the Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, and the Brain Research Center, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan. Chen is with the Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan. C. Liu is with the Graduate Institute of Sports Equipment Technology, University of Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan; and the Center for Sport Science and Technology, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Y.-C. Liu and Yang are co-first authors.C. Liu (cliu@utaipei.edu.tw) is corresponding author.
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