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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A 12-month follow up study of strength, balance, and physical activity after a 20-week physical activity intervention to reduce fall risk factors in 65-75 year old women Donaldson, Meghan Gordan


OBJECTIVES: The overall objectives of this thesis were to conduct a 12-month Longitudinal Osteofit Followup study to: 1) evaluate changes in balance and strength in women with osteoporosis who participated in a 20-week randomized controlled exercise trial and 2) determine the effect of participation in a 20-week exercise intervention on physical activity participation. DESIGN: 12-month prospective observational study. PARTICIPANTS: 53 women aged 65 to 75 years who participated in the 20-week Osteofit randomised controlled trial. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Fall risk factors (knee extension strength, figure of eight test, Equitest) and physical activity participation at 20 weeks and 12 months follow-up. RESULTS: This 12-month follow up study demonstrated that women originally allocated to the intervention group reported significantly more minutes spent in Osteofit in the follow up period than those allocated to the control group (23 ± 24 vs 9 ± 12, P=0.02); There were no significant differences in any fall risk factors between original intervention and control groups from baseline to follow-up. The level of participation in resistance activity for the entire cohort significantly increased from baseline to follow-up (x2= 29.56, p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Participation in 20 weeks of Osteofit does not effectively improve fall risk factors at 12 months follow up. However, involvement in a community based exercise intervention may provide sufficient motivation for women aged 65-75 to increase their level of participation in physical activity— particularly resistance training. Large prospective trials utilizing targeted exercise interventions are needed to determine if exercise reduces falls risk.

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