Skip Navigation LinksHome > May 2003 - Volume 35 - Issue 5 > APPROPRIATE BALANCE TESTS WHEN ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF YOGA...
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
D-14J Free Communication/Poster Exercise and Elderly

APPROPRIATE BALANCE TESTS WHEN ASSESSING THE EFFECTS OF YOGA ON HEALTHY COMMUNITY‐DWELLING OLDER ADULTS

Leininger, P M.1; Hakim, R M.1; Wagner, B R.1; Spencer, J1

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1The University of Scranton, Scranton, Pennsylvania

(Sponsor: Ronald W. Deitrick, FACSM)

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PURPOSE

The purpose of this study was to determine if selected balance tests are sensitive and appropriate when determining if there is a significant difference in the balance abilities on selected balance test with a group of yoga and non-yoga trained older adults. Diminished balance abilities in the elderly often predispose the individual to a potentially serious fall. If yoga training can be shown to produce significant improvement in balance with older adults it might reduce the incidence of falls and prove an effective intervention. There are numerous balance tests incorporated with older adults, but some prove more sensitive and valid when determining the risk for falls in the elderly.

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SUBJECTS

42 healthy and active community-dwelling older adults, 24 (mean age, 70.50, range 62 – 79) who have recently participated in yoga classes (Y), and 20 (mean age 72.05, range 63 – 80) who had not (NY).

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METHODS

Three balance measurements, the Berg Balance Test (BBT), the Multidirectional Reach Teat (MDRT), and the Timed Up and Go Test (TUG) were administered to the two groups.

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ANALYSIS

Means were calculated for test scores from both groups. An independent t-test compared the difference in means.

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RESULTS

Only the BBT showed statistical difference (54.67 (Y) VS 53.15 (NY), p < .01, although not clinically significant. Two of the items on the BBT, the Tandem Stand and the One Leg Stand, showed significant differences, 3.54 (Y) VS 3.00 (NY), and 3.54 (Y) VS 2.85 (NY) respectively, p < .05.

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CONCLUSIONS

When testing the effect of intervention on balance ability of healthy active older adults, the BBT, MDRT and TUG tests may not be sensitive to detect significant change and may not be the most appropriate indicators. Further studies utilizing either more challenging balance tests (e.g. timed single-leg stance), or tests on a less healthy population may be necessary to detect a significant effect of yoga training on balance.

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine

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