The effect of group exercise frequency on anthropometric profile of apparently healthy elderly permanently residing in institutionalised nursing homes
The aim of the study was to establish the effect of group exercise frequency on the
anthropometric profiles of elderly persons living in aged care homes in the eThekwini
municipality. A total of 100 participants, aged 60-88 years (males n = 21 and females n = 79) were selected from five aged care homes. Twenty participants from each of the five facilities were randomly selected. From the 20 participants, ten participants were randomly assigned to Group A - experimental group and 10 in Group B - observed group. Participants in Group A exercised twice a week and those in Group B exercised thrice a week for 12 weeks. The duration of each exercise session was 60 minutes. The components of the exercise programme comprised of a warm up, balance training followed by cardiorespiratory and strength training. A significant increase was noted in the sum of skinfold thickness in the group that exercised twice a week (MD = -14.78 mm, 95% CI [-28.45 mm, -2.09 mm], p = .038) (p<.05). Similar to the group that exercised twice a week, there was a small increase in sum of skinfold thickness (MD = -9.14 mm, 95% CI [-18.40 mm, .69 mm], p = .070,), post training thrice a week. The increase in skinfold thickness in the group that trained three times a week was not significant. Therefore, training thrice a week could protect against excessive body fatness, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in the elderly residing in long term care facilities.
Keywords: Anthropometry, body mass index, body composition, waist to hip ratio, skinfold measurements
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