Dobbertin M, Chase-Jacobus K, Peterson K, Burtis M, Shilts N, Braun S. Impact of Individual- vs. Functional-Based Exercise Training on Balance in Middle-aged and Older Adults. Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, WI, USA.
Introduction: The purpose of this short report was to examine the acute metabolic responses of Purpose: Purpose of the study was to compare the effectiveness of individual- vs. functional-based balance programs on functional balance score and confidence level in middle-aged and older adults. Methods: Twenty-nine participants (age range: 35-72 years) were gathered from the pre-established fitness program at the University. Participants were engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity at least 150 min/week or vigorous-intensity exercise at least 75 min/week. Participants were randomly assigned to either the Individual group or a functional exercise group incorporating Yoga (Functional group) over a 5-week period, twice a week with each session lasting for 15 minutes. The Berg Balance Scale, 30s Chair Test and the Activity Balance Confidence scale were administered at pre- and post-test to assess balance ability and confidence level among participants. Biodex Balance System was used as a training tool for the Individual group. Both groups attended training sessions twice a week. Results: Two-way repeated measures ANOVA indicated a significant group (Individual vs. Functional) x time interaction effect on Berg score. Simple effect tests indicated both groups displayed a significant increase in the score from pre- to post-test. For the Activity Balance Confidence scale, there was no interaction effect, but there was a significantly greater increase from pre- to post-test among Individual compared to Functional. Finally, the 30s-chair test resulted in no significant change from pre- to post- for both groups. Conclusions: The findings of the study suggest the importance of incorporating both individual- and functional-based balance exercises to increase confidence and functional balance in the aging population.