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Effects of an adapted physical activity program on psychophysical health in elderly women

Authors Battaglia G, Bellafiore M, Alesi M, Paoli A, Bianco A, Palma A

Received 31 March 2016

Accepted for publication 17 May 2016

Published 29 July 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 1009—1015


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Giuseppe Battaglia,1,2 Marianna Bellafiore,1,2 Marianna Alesi,1,2 Antonio Paoli,3 Antonino Bianco,1,2 Antonio Palma1,2

1Department of Psychological, Pedagogical and Educational Sciences, 2Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo, 3Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padua, Italy

Background: Several studies have shown the positive effects of adapted physical activity (APA) on physical and mental health (MH) during the lifetime. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a specific APA intervention program in the improvement of the health-related quality of life (QOL) and functional condition of spine in elderly women.
Methods: Thirty women were recruited from a senior center and randomly assigned to two groups: control group (CG; age: 69.69±7.94 years, height: 1.57±0.06 m, weight: 68.42±8.18 kg, body mass index [BMI]: 27.88±2.81) and trained group (TG; age: 68.35±6.04 years, height: 1.55±0.05 m, weight: 64.78±10.16 kg, BMI: 26.98±3.07). The APA program was conducted for 8 weeks, with two training sessions/week. CG did not perform any physical activity during the study. Spinal angles were evaluated by SpinalMouse® (Idiag, Volkerswill, Switzerland); health-related QOL was evaluated by SF-36 Health Survey, which assesses physical component summary (PCS-36), mental component summary (MCS-36), and eight subscales: physical functioning, role-physical, bodily pain, general health perception, role-emotional, social functioning, vitality, and MH. All measures were recorded before and after the experimental period.
Results: In TG, compared to CG, the two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures with Bonferroni post hoc test showed a relevant improvement in lumbar spinal angle (°) and in SF-36 outcomes after the intervention period. We showed a significant increase in physical functioning, bodily pain, and MH subscales and in PCS-36 and MCS-36 scores in TG compared to CG. In particular, from baseline to posttest, we found that in TG, the PCS-36 and MCS-36 scores increased by 13.20% and 11.64%, respectively.
Conclusion: We believe that an 8-week APA intervention program is able to improve psychophysical heath in elderly people. During the aging process, a dynamic lifestyle, including regular physical activity, is a crucial factor for public and health care systems to improve QOL and physical fitness in aging people.

Keywords: quality of life, aging, stretching, spine, health, elderly people, exercise

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