2013 Volume 25 Issue 8 Pages 923-927
[Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an aqua aerobic therapy exercise for older adults on biomechanical and physiological factors affecting gait. [Subjects] A total of 15 subjects participated in this study and they were randomly divided into the experimental and the control group. [Methods] Physiological variables, leg strength, power and flexibility, and biomechanical variables, both kinematic and kinetic, were measured before and after the aqua aerobic therapy exercise. Each subject was instructed to walk along an elevated walkway and during the trials a trapdoor opened at random to create a 10 cm falling perturbation. Full body motion and kinetics was gathered during the gait. [Results] There were significant reductions in body weight, and body fat mass, and stride time after the perturbation. Significant increases in leg strength corresponded to the maximum joint moment of the landing leg showing that the subjects’ ability for recovery of balance after the perturbation improved. [Conclusion] As the results showed significant improvements in gait pattern and recovery time after perturbed gait, we conclude that aqua aerobic therapy is an effective exercise method for training older adults to reduce their risk of falling.