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

The effect of 3-month of proprioceptive stimulation on agility skills in elderly women

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author E. Zemková - Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia
  • D. Hamar - Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia
  • L. Böhmerová - Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia
  • P. Schickhofer - Comenius University Bratislava, Slovakia

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa096

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Zemková et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Several studies have documented the improvement of strength and balance in elderly population after systematic vibration training. However, there is lack of information on the effect of such an intervention on multi choice reaction time and movement velocity. Therefore the aim of the study was to examine the changes in agility following 3-month of mechanical proprioceptive stimulation training applied to lower extremities.


Altogether thirty-two elderly women randomly divided into experimental (n =16, mean age 61.8 ± 5.2 years, height 163.1 ± 5.9 cm, weight 72.1 ± 11.7 kg) and control group (n =16, mean age 61.2 ± 6.3 years, height 163.4 ± 5.8 cm, weight 72.1 ± 12.0 kg) volunteered to participate in the study. They underwent two different forms of exercise under influence of proprioceptive stimulation during training set up 3 times a week. One group performed semi-squats (6 sets of 10 reps without and with an additional load of 20 % of body weight, separated by 2 minutes of rest) while other only stood in semi-squat position on vibrating platform (6 sets of 30 and 45 seconds, separated by 2 minutes of rest). Proprioceptive stimuli were applied by means of a platform producing short-term counter shocks (ground reaction force increase of about 1 G within 3 ms at the frequency of 10 Hz). Parameters of agility (sum of 32 multi-choice reaction times performed in four directions as a response to stimuli randomly generated by computer in one of the corners of the screen) were evaluated prior to and after the training using FiTRO Agility test.


Results showed a significant improvement (p < 0.01) of agility in both experimental groups (from 579.1 ± 85.7 ms to 500.1 ± 70.8 ms ms and from 639.1 ± 69.4 ms to 565.2 ± 67.0 ms, respectively). The effect was slightly higher in subjects performed semi-squats (13.6 %) than in those stood in semi-squat position on vibrating platform (11.6 %). On the other hand, no significant changes in control group were found (595.6 ± 52.6 ms vs 583.3 ± 41.9 ms). Such a positive change may be ascribed to the improvement of neuroregulatory functions, namely increased rate of motoneuron firing and better synchronisation of motor units activation.


It may be concluded that mechanical proprioceptive stimulation applied to lower extremities enhances agility skills in elderly population.