Group Exercise Classes Focused on Timing and Coordination Are More Effective at Improving Mobility than Usual Care

October 20, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A group-exercise program that focused on gait was more effective than usual care at improving mobility among community-dwelling older adults according to a study published in the October 2017 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. The study compared the effectiveness of the On the Move group-exercise program, which focuses on step timing and walking coordination along with strengthening and stretching exercises, with the usual care program of seated strength, endurance, and stretching exercises. Thirty-two independent living facilities, senior apartments, and senior community centers were randomly assigned to undergo either On the Move training or usual care during the study period. The 50-minute exercise classes were held twice a week for 12 weeks with 10 or fewer participants in each class. Each group consisted of about 150 participants, who were of a mean age of 80 years, medically stable, and able to move independently—with a gait speed of at least 0.6 meters per second—and follow two-step commands.

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