The effects of a low intensity training programme for 12 months on motor functions and mobility of institutionalized elderly women were investigated. The subjects comprised 28 elderly women aged 80.4 ± 5.4 years, who were assigned to either the control group (CG) (n=15) or the training group (TG) (n=13). Training 4 to 6 days a week with each session for about 20 minutes a day was performed. After training, a significant increase in quadriceps strength was observed in TG (P<0.05), but not in CG (mean ± S.D.% = 22.2 ± 14.1 v.s. -9.8 ± 19.4). Ability of balance tested by functional reach was decreased in CG (P<0.05), whereas there was no change in TG (mean ± S.D.% = -15.3 ± 23.4 v.s. -2.1 ± 15.3). Ambulatory status was reduced in CG, whereas there was no change in TG. These results suggest that low intensity training is effective for increasing strength and maintaining balance and mobility in frail elderly persons.
2005 by the Society of Physical Therapy Science