Feasibility of Pilates for Late-Stage Frail Older Adults to Minimize Falls and Enhance Cognitive Functions

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Sarashina, Eri, Mizukami, Katsuyoshi, Yoshizawa, Yasuyo, Sakurai, Junko, Tsuji, Akane and Begg, Rezaul ORCID: 0000-0002-3195-8591 (2022) Feasibility of Pilates for Late-Stage Frail Older Adults to Minimize Falls and Enhance Cognitive Functions. Applied Sciences, 12 (13). ISSN 2076-3417


Globally, we are facing the tendency of aging, and demands for health enhancement among the older population have been steadily increasing. Among various exercise interventions, Pilates has been popularly utilized in rehabilitation; therefore, it is considered suitable for vulnerable populations. In this study, frail late-stage older adults (>75 years) participated in a modified Pilates program (30 min per session, once a week for eight weeks). Age-and condition-matched Controls were also involved as the benchmark to reveal the effect of Pilates. While only the Pilates group participated in the exercise intervention, both groups undertook the health assessments twice (before and after the intervention period). Assessments included: (i) falling risk based on 3D motion capture systems and (ii) overall cognitive functions utilizing Mini-Mental State Examination and executive function with the use of Trail Making Test-A (TMT-A). Two-dimensional mood state was also used to measure changes in mood due to Pilates intervention. An 8-week Pilates intervention was effective in achieving higher and symmetrical swing foot control. Dynamic balance at heel contact was also improved by extending the spatial margin in case of slipping. Despite the trend of positive Pilates effects on executive functions (29% improvement) confirmed by TMT-A, no significant effects were observed for cognitive functions. Positive mood changes were achieved by Pilates intervention, which may be the key for late-stage seniors to continue their participation in exercise programs. While further studies with a larger sample size are essential, Pilates appears to provide adequate exercise for the frail late-stage older population to minimize frailty.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/47180
DOI 10.3390/app12136716
Official URL https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3417/12/13/6716
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords Pilates, older adults, fall risk, fall prevention
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