2013 年 62 巻 1 号 p. 79-86
The purpose of this study was to examine whether volunteering as exercise instructors over a continuous period of time affected the physical and cognitive functions of community-dwelling, elderly women. Longitudinal analysis was conducted on data from 18 volunteer leaders (Leader group) aged 65-79 years (69.6 ± 3.9 years) and 18 age-matched survey participants (Control group). We evaluated physical function using 8 physical performance tests along with their standardized total score, and we evaluated cognitive function using the Five Cognitive Function Test. We used two-way ANOVA to examine the effectiveness of engaging in a yearlong volunteer activity and Cohen's d for effect size. There were significant interactions in timed up and go, hand working with pegboard, standardized score of performance tests and the Five Cognitive Function Test score (P < 0.05). The Leader group improved significantly in sit and reach (d = 0.55), 5-repetition sit-to-stand (d = 0.77), timed up and go (d = 0.77), 5-m habitual walk (d = 0.88), 4-way choice reaction time (d = 0.86), standardized score of performance tests (d = 0.96) and the Five Cognitive Function Test score (d = 0.93). Although the Control group also improved significantly in some tests, the effect size tended to be lower: sit and reach (d = 0.49), hand working with pegboard (d = 0.57), standardized score of performance tests (d = 0.38) and the Five Cognitive Function Test score (d = 0.54). These results suggest that volunteering as an exercise instructor improves volunteers' physical and cognitive functions.