The Effects of Pilates Training on Balance Control and Self-Reported Health Status in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Objectives:

To evaluate the effect of a group-based Pilates training program on balance control and health status in healthy older adults.

Design:

A single-blind, randomized, controlled trial.

Setting:

General community.

Participants:

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).

Intervention:

The Pilates intervention group received 36 training sessions over three months (3 sessions a week), while the control group did not receive any intervention.

Outcome measures:

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.

Results:

Compared with the control group, the Pilates intervention did not improve postural stability, baseline functional measures of balance, or health status.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that because Pilates training is not task specific, it does not improve balance control or balance function in independent older adults.

Gabizon is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Press is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel; the Community Geriatric Service, Southern District, Clalit Health Services; Community-Based Geriatric Unit, the Division of Community Health, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel; and Unit for Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment, Clalit Health Services, Southern Region, Israel. Volkov is with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel; and the Community Geriatric Service, Southern District, Clalit Health Services. Melzer is with the Department of Physical Therapy, Recanati School for Community Health Professions, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Both Gabizon and Press contributed equally to the study.

Address author correspondence to Itshak Melzer at itzikm@bgu.ac.il.