Controlling balance decline across the menopause using a balance-strategy training program: A randomized, controlled trial
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Objective: To evaluate effectiveness and long-term benefits of a specific balance-strategy training program in sedentary women aged 40-60 years and whether participation leads to adoption of a more active lifestyle.
Method: Fifty healthy women were admitted to the randomized, controlled trial on the basis of their activity level. Subjects were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group, with the former attending twice-weekly for 12 weeks. Assessments made pre- and post-intervention and at 9 months follow-up included: personal demographics, hormone replacement therapy medication, activity level, balance measures, somatosensory function, ankle flexibility and leg muscle strength.
Results: The intervention group showed improvement in balance measures (p < 0.030), right ankle tactile sensation (p = 0.027), ankle flexibility (p < 0.000) and muscle strength (p < 0.018) of quadriceps, hip abductors and external rotators, compared with the control group immediately after intervention. At 9 months follow-up, the intervention effect was maintained for all measures and a latent improvement of somatosensory measures (tactile acuity of foot (p < 0.05), joint repositioning sense (p < 0.010), and vibration threshold of the left knee (p < 0.016)) revealed. The intervention group also adopted a more active lifestyle (p = 0.000).
Conclusion: These results provide evidence that this physiotherapist-designed program preserves/reverses the balance decline associated with age and leads to adoption of a more active lifestyle.
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