Influence of Obesity and Impact of a Physical Activity Program on Postural Control and Functional and Physical Capacities in Institutionalized Older Adults: A Pilot Study

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Objective: To evaluate the role of obesity in the effects of physical activity (PA) on postural control and functional and physical capacities in the older adults and to assess the effectiveness of a PA program on these capacities. Methods: Six obese (age = 78.8 [3.7] y; body mass index > 30 kg/m2), 7 overweight (age = 80.9 [2.8] y; 25 < body mass index < 30 kg/m2), and 6 normal weight (age = 80.8 [5.7] y; body mass index < 25 kg/m2) older adults performed the time up and go test, the 6-minute walk test, and the Tinetti test. Static and dynamic (forward leaning) postural control tests were also assessed. All these tests were similarly assessed 4 months later, during which only the obese group and overweight group participated in a PA program. Results: Before PA, results of the time up and go test, 6-minute walk test, Tinetti test, quiet standing, and forward lean tests revealed that physical capacities and static and dynamic postural control were impaired in the obese group when compared to the normal weight group. After PA, results of quiet standing, physical and functional tests were improved for obese group. Conclusions: Obesity is an additional constraint to age-related postural control and functional and physical capacities deteriorations. Nevertheless, a PA program is effective in improving balance and functional capacities in obese older adults.

The authors are with Laboratory “Movement, Interactions, Performance” (EA 4334), Department of Sport Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technologies, Le Mans University, Le Mans, France.

Maktouf (wael.maktouf.etu@univ-lemans.fr) is corresponding author.
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