A randomised controlled trial of low-intensity exercise for improving functional fitness and quality of life in community-dwelling sedentary older adults
A Randomised Controlled Trial of Low-Intensity Exercise for Improving Functional Fitness and Quality of Life in Community-Dwelling Sedentary Older Adults Authors: Chaiya Mr Noradechanunt, Herbert Groeller, Anthony Worsley Purpose: Promotion of physical activity is needed for sedentary elderly to improve and maintain functional ability to perform activities of daily life. Various exercise modes are available to improve functional fitness (FF) and quality of life (QoL) in older adults. However, information on the comparative efficacy of lowintensity exercise modes to improve FF and QoL in sedentary elderly is limited. This study investigated the effects of Thai Yoga and Tai Chi programs on FF and QoL among sedentary, healthy elderly. Methods: Thirty-nine older adults (67 +- 6 year-old, 29 women) were randomly assigned to Thai Yoga (TY), Tai Chi (TC), or Control (CON) groups. The treatment programs were performed for 12 weeks, 90 minutes duration, twice weekly. FF was evaluated using the Senior Fitness Test battery. QoL was assessed using the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), the Centre for Epidemiological Studies of Depression (CES-D), the Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly (PASE), and the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES). Outcome measures were conducted at baseline, six, 12, and 24 weeks. The data were analysed using repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results: Statistically significant improvements in all components of FF, the SF-36 vitality dimension, and PACES were found in the TY, but not in the TC or CON groups. These beneficial effects were maintained until 12 weeks after the program finished. There were no significant changes in other dimensions of SF- 36, PASE, and CES-D. Conclusions: The results suggest that Thai Yoga is a safe, cost-effective way to improve the physical and psychological functioning of older people.