Characterization of Vertical Accelerations Experienced by Older People Attending an Aerobics Class Designed to Produce High Impacts

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

The purpose of this study was to establish the feasibility of using an aerobics class to produce potentially bone protective vertical impacts of ≥ 4g in older adults and to determine whether impacts can be predicted by physical function. Participants recruited from older adult exercise classes completed an SF-12 questionnaire, short physical performance battery, and an aerobics class with seven different components, performed at low and high intensity. Maximum g and jerk values were identified for each activity. Forty-one participants (mean 69 years) were included. Mean maximal values approached or exceeded the 4g threshold for four of the seven exercises. In multivariate analyses, age (−0.53; −0.77, −0.28) (standardized beta coefficient; 95% CI) and 4-m walk time (−0.39; −0.63, −0.16) were inversely related to maximum g. Aerobics classes can be used to produce relatively high vertical accelerations in older individuals, although the outcome is strongly dependent on age and physical function.

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Hannam, Deere, Hartley, and Tobias are with the Musculoskeletal Research Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. Worrall is with the University of Bristol Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health, Bristol, UK.

Address author correspondence to Kimberly Hannam at