International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Centre for Human Performance / School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study utilised feedback from older adults during balance-challenging, elastic band resistance exercises to design a physical activity (PA) intervention. Methods: Twenty-three active participants, aged 51 – 81 years, volunteered to perform a mini balance evaluation test and falls efficacy scale, and completed a daily living questionnaire. Following a 10 min warm-up, participants performed eight pre-selected exercises (1 × set, 8 – 12 repetitions) using elastic bands placed over the hip or chest regions in a randomised, counterbalanced order with 15 min seated rests between interventions. Heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured throughout. Participant interview responses were used to qualify the experiences and opinions of the interventions including likes, dislikes, comfort, and exercise difficulty. Results: Similar significant (p < 0.01) increases in HR (pre- = 83 – 85 bpm, mid- = 85 – 88 bpm, post-intervention = 88 – 89 bpm; 5 – 6 %) and RPE (pre- = 8 – 9, mid- = 10, post-intervention = 10 – 11) were detected during the PA interventions (hip and chest regions). Interview data revealed that participants thought the PA interventions challenged balance, that the exercises would be beneficial for balance, and that the exercises were suitable for themselves and others. Participants reported a positive experience when using the PA interventions with an elastic band placed at the hip or chest and would perform the exercises again, preferably in a group, and that individual preference and comfort would determine the placement of the elastic band at either the hip or chest. Conclusion: These positive outcomes confirm the feasibility of a resistance band balance program and will inform intervention design and delivery in future studies.
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