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Hubley-Kozey C. L. PhD; Wall, J. C. PhD Professor; Hogan, D. B. MD, FRCP, FACP Head
Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: March 1995
Original Article: PDF Only
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This article describes a study that examined the effects of a general exercise program on dynamic plantarflexor and dorsiflexor muscle strength of older women and compared strength between the older group and a group of young women. The rationale for maintaining muscle strength relates to reduced risk of falls and maintaining the ability to perform tasks independently. A group of 22 older women participated in a general exercise program over a 2-year period and were tested at 3-month intervals. A group of 20 young females was tested once for comparative purposes. Analysis of variance with repeated measures were performed on the data from the group of older women for four testing sessions over the 2-year period (96% of the subjects attended these sessions). Differences were statistically signifiicant (P ≤.05) for all three plantarflexor measurements but not for the dorsiflexors among testing sessions for the group of older women. (Independent t-tests were used to determine differences between the two groups.) The results of this study support the hypothesis that exercise can improve dynamic muscle strength for older persons but that specificity and intensity of the exercises should be addressed. The magnitude of the differences between the groups of young and older women for plantarflexor strength characteristics were modified with exercise.

© 1995 Aspen Publishers, Inc.