Short-term, light- to moderate-intensity exercise training improves leg muscle strength in the oldest old: a randomized controlled trial.J Am Geriatr Soc. 2011 Apr; 59(4):594-602.JA
To assess the effects of an 8-week exercise training program with a special focus on light- to moderate-intensity resistance exercises (30-70% of one repetition maximum, 1RM) and a subsequent 4-week training cessation period (detraining) on muscle strength and functional capacity in participants aged 90 and older.
Randomized controlled trial performed during March to September 2009.
Geriatric nursing home.
Forty nonagenarians (90-97) were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group (16 women and 4 men per group).
Eight-week muscle strength exercise intervention focused on lower limb strength exercises of light to moderate intensity.
1RM leg press.
handgrip strength, 8-m walk test, 4-step stairs test, Timed Up and Go test, and number of falls.
A significant group by time interaction effect (P=.02) was observed only for the 1RM leg press. In the intervention group, 1RM leg press increased significantly with training by 10.6 kg [95% confidence interval (CI)=4.1-17.1 kg; P=.01]. Except for the mean group number of falls, which were 1.2 falls fewer per participant in the intervention group (95% CI=0.0-3.0; P=.03), no significant training effect on the secondary outcome measures was found.
Exercise training, even of short duration and light to moderate intensity, can increase muscle strength while decreasing fall risk in nonagenarians.