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The effectiveness of a basic exercise intervention to improve strength and balance in women with osteoporosis

Authors Otero M, Esain I, González-Suarez ÁM, Gil SM

Received 10 November 2016

Accepted for publication 13 January 2017

Published 14 March 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 505—513


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Montserrat Otero,1 Izaro Esain,2 Ángel M González-Suarez,1 Susana M Gil2

1Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Education and Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria-Gasteiz, 2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Nursing, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Leioa, Bizkaia, Spain

Objective: To determine the effects of a simple exercise program on the balance and strength of postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.
Methods: This program was based on low intensity strength and balance exercises, and was carried out with simple, readily available equipment. Sixty five women were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (EG; n=33, age: 57.4±4.8 years) or the control group (CG; n=32, age: 58.8±4.5 years). Participants in the EG underwent balance and strength training for 60 min, three times/week for 6 months. Each session consisted of warm-up exercises (10 min), balance training (20 min), strength training (20 min), and cooldown (10 min). Participants from the CG were asked not to modify their usual habits during the course of the study. Static balance was evaluated using the blind monopodal stance static balance test. In contrast, dynamic balance was assessed using the “8-foot up and go” test, whereas the strength of the upper and lower limbs was measured using the “arm curl” and “30 s chair stand” tests, respectively. All these variables were assessed at baseline and upon program completion.
Results: The EG showed significant improvements (P<0.001) in static balance (21%), dynamic balance (36%), and in the strength of the upper (80%) and lower (47%) limbs in comparison to the CG after the sixth month. Participants in the CG showed significantly lower values (P<0.001) in the four tests. In addition, a significant inverse relationship between static balance and the strength of the upper (r=-0.390; P=0.001) and lower (r=-0.317; P=0.01) limbs was found.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that a physical exercise program based on balance and strength exercises, carried out with simple and readily available equipment, is capable of significantly improving the strength and balance of women with osteoporosis.

Keywords: fracture risk, osteoporotic fracture, training, postmenopausal women, aging, fracture prevention

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