The effects of an outdoor recreational exercise program on selected physical abilities among elderly

Ourania Matsouka, Ioannis Trigonis, Efthimis Trevlas, Sotiris Simakis

Year: 2008 Volume: 2 Issue: c

Pages: 27-39

Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of a 12 week outdoor recreational exercise program on the functional capacity of 45 sedentary elderly people, aged 60 to 75 years. The functional capacity variables were comprised of dynamic balance, muscular endurance, sit and reach flexibility, and muscular coordination. Participants were allocated to one exercise group (n= 30) and one control group (n=15). Exercise was performed for one hour twice a week for the experimental group, whereas the control group did not participate in any kind of exercise. Participants were pre and post-tested for the selected variables. Significant differences (p<. 05) were found between the exercise and non- exercise groups. The main effects of the training program were significant for all four variables examined, indicating that subjects who participated in the exercise program had a significant higher level of physical abilities than the control group. Findings are discussed in terms of design and measurement improvements and the need to focus research efforts on multiple components of wellbeing in relation to fitness level in the elderly.