• Stay strong, live long: an individualised home-based exercise programme for older women

      Ruocco, Vivienne G. (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-10)
      As the UK’s ageing population increases, so does the cost of treating unintentional falls and age-related diseases. Exercise helps reduce the risks of secondary ageing and maintain functional independence. Stay Strong, Live Long (SSLL) is a pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of a tailor-made home-based strength-training programme for older women. Eleven women (age: 72.45 ± 6.15 yrs) were assigned to either an experimental or control group by a randomised counterbalanced repeated measures protocol. Participants were assessed using four physical measures from the Senior Fitness Test (SFT) and their Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) was measured using the SF-36v2®. During the six week intervention periods, participants completed home-based individualised exercise programmes using no additional exercise equipment. Programmes were adjusted based on individual progress. Both groups showed statistically significant percentile increases in lower and upper body strength, lower body flexibility and balance. Despite positive feedback from participants, there was no statistically significant change in the HRQL during the study period. SSLL is the first study to use the SFT in the home environment. Programmes like SSLL have the potential to increase the functional fitness of participants and reduce the risk of unintentional falls, thus reducing health care costs in the UK.