To evaluate the effect of a group-based Pilates training program on balance control and health status in healthy older adults.
A single-blind, randomized, controlled trial.
A total of 88 community-dwelling older adults (age 71.15 ± 4.30 years), without evidence of functional balance impairment, were recruited and allocated at random to a Pilates intervention group (n = 44) or a control group (n = 44).
The Pilates intervention group received 36 training sessions over three months (3 sessions a week), while the control group did not receive any intervention.
Standing upright postural stability, performance-based measures of balance, and self-reported health status was assessed in both groups at baseline and at the end of the intervention period.
Compared with the control group, the Pilates intervention did not improve postural stability, baseline functional measures of balance, or health status.
The results suggest that because Pilates training is not task specific, it does not improve balance control or balance function in independent older adults.