gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Linking research, program development, policy and practice. An example of this link: an innovative physical activity program for disabled wheelchair-bound nursing home residents

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author R. Brown - Beit Rivka Geriatric Rehabilitation Center, Israel
  • A. Burstin - Zinman College, Wingate Institute, Israel
  • E. Argov - Zinman College, Wingate Institute, Israel
  • A. Dunsky - Beit Rivka Geriatric Rehabilitation Center, Israel
  • S.N. Heyman - Hadassah Hospital, Mt. Scopus and Hebrew University Medical School Jerusalem, Israel
  • N.B. Alexander - University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Health Care System GRECC, USA
  • M. Ben - Association for the Planning and Development of Services for the Aged ESHEL, Israel
  • Y. Netz - Zinman College, Wingate Institute, Israel

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa082

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Veröffentlicht: 18. Dezember 2006

© 2006 Brown et al.
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Maintaining stance facilitates daily functioning in disabled older adults.


Demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative program of group physical activity using a standing-support device (SSD), targeted towards transfer- and stance-disabled older adult residents of a nursing home.
Assess the impact of this program in reducing physical impairment (primarily in muscle strength and joint range of motion) and improving overall functional performance.


Eight-week observational period, followed by twelve-week intervention of group physical activity performed while standing in a SSD. Participants were thirteen long term care residents, mean±SD age 82±11, range 57-102, unable to transfer or stand independently. Measurements included muscle strength, joint range of motion, forward and lateral reach, time to stand independently, distance walked with a walker, and the FIM (Functional Independence Measure).


Compared to the observational period, significant post-intervention musculoskeletal improvements were noted particularly in lower extremity strength. Post-intervention improvements in the FIM were noted as well, particularly in sphincter control, locomotion, mobility, motor score, and total score. Over 60% of those previously requiring assistance in standing became able to stand unassisted for an average of one minute and walk an average of 14 meters with a walker.


A pilot program of physical activity using an SSD is feasible in selected stance-disabled older adult long term nursing home residents. Participants showed evidence of muscle strength and functional improvement. Future studies should consider a randomized controlled trial of the SSD device with careful targeting of residents and with a concurrent examination of health care costs, functional improvement, and staff burden.