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Influence of the Nordic Walking Intervention Program on the Improvement of Functional Parameters in Older Women

Panou, Helen, BSc; Giovanis, Vasilios, PhD; Tsougos, Elias, MD, PhD; Angelidis, George, MD

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: April/June 2019 - Volume 35 - Issue 2 - p 129–133
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000222
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Background: Nordic Walking is a total body type of exercise that can be performed by nonathletes as a health-promoting physical activity.

Aims: In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the impact of a Nordic Walking interventional program in older adults, with regard to the potential improvements in functional parameters.

Methods: Thirty-five women (mean age: 67.86 years, SD: 4.44 years) participated in a 25-week Nordic Walking program, while 25 women (control group, mean age: 76.97 years, SD: 8.14 years) did not engage to any type of exercise during the same period. Functional parameters were assessed using the Senior Fitness Test and the Bosco Counter-Movement Jump Test at baseline and after the completion of the program.

Results: In the experimental group, improvements were observed in all functional parameters assessed by the Senior Fitness Test, including strength, flexibility, movement coordination, dynamic balance, and aerobic capacity. No such correlations were found in the control group. Similarly, with regard to the parameters recorded using the Counter-Movement Jump Test, there was an improvement in strength from baseline to the final measurements.

Conclusions: Our findings confirmed previous evidence regarding the beneficial effects of Nordic Walking on functional parameters in older adults.

School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece (Ms Panou and Dr Giovanis); Second Department of Cardiology, Heart Failure and Preventive Cardiology Section, Henry Dunant Hospital, Athens, Greece (Dr Tsougos); and Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital of Larissa, Larissa, Greece (Dr Angelidis).

Correspondence: Helen Panou, BSc, School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 41 Ethnikis Antistasis St, 17237 Daphne, Athens, Greece (panouhelen@phed.uoa.gr).

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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