The aim of this study was to assess the direct and indirect effects of a multicomponent exercise (MCE) program on mobility and balance in institutionalized older people. One hundred and twelve subjects (85 women; 83.0 years on average; SD = 7.5) were included in the study, and divided into a MCE-group (MCE-G) and a control group (CG) according to matching techniques. The MCE-G consisted of a 9-month program featuring range-of-motion, strength, and balance exercises performed in small groups. The CG received routine medical and nursing care. The timed up-and-go test and Tinetti Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment balance subscale were administered at baseline and postintervention. After controlling for physical baseline value, age, sex, residential care facilities, and body mass index, the MCE-G showed positive effects both on mobility (p < .001) and balance (p = .001). The role of balance as mediator in the relationship between participation to the MCE program and mobility was demonstrated.
Anna Mulasso, Mattia Roppolo, Monica Emma Liubicich, Michele Settanni and Emanuela Rabaglietti
Daniele Magistro, Filippo Candela, Paolo Riccardo Brustio, Monica Emma Liubicich and Emanuela Rabaglietti
Functional aging processes are characterized by a loss of performance capabilities for most physiological systems, such as aerobic endurance and lower body strength, which are important for independent living and active aging. The present study examines the direction of influence between aerobic endurance and lower body strength over time in Italian sedentary older adults. A three-wave longitudinal model was tested using cross-lagged analysis for 202 individuals aged over 65 years (mean = 73.92, SD = 5.84; 140 females). Analysis revealed that aerobic endurance and lower body strength decline over time. In addition, greater aerobic endurance positively affected lower body strength over time; however, the converse was true only during the first period (first 6 months). These findings emphasize the importance of these relationships for the design and implementation of effective physical intervention for older adults.