UPDATE (7th September 2017)-: This study has been accepted by BASES-FEPSAC and will be presented at the conference during the 28th & 29th of November 2017.
Authors: Samuel W. Oxford, Christopher Ross and Michael J. Duncan
Falls are much more frequent in the elderly than the young. They can have significant effects on mortality, morbidity and physical disability . The figure below shows that fall rates correlate with age. This increase in incidence is much more significant in women than in men. Coventry University conducted an investigation to determine whether motor control training of the upper quadrant using the MUJO devices could improve balance in the elderly population.
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of 4 weeks of circuit training exercise v.s. the same training complemented with upper quadrant motor control exercises on balance and functional fitness in older people.
With Institutional ethics approval, 16 older, but otherwise healthy males [n = 3; age, 61 ± 3.4 years] and females [n = 13; age, 63.1 ± 7.3 years] participated. The study consisted of 8 weeks of lower and upper body resistance circuit training with the last 4 weeks complimented with upper quadrant motor control exercises performed on MUJO Mechanics equipment.
The mediolateral and anteroposterior sway was measured and functional assessment was carried out at multiple time points. They were: 1) prior to training, 2) at 4 weeks prior to addition of MUJO training and 3) at 8 weeks post exercise program.
View the exercise protocol in pdf
There were no reductions in mediolateral or anteroposterior (p>0.05) sway from pre-to 4 weeks. There were significant reductions in both mediolateral and anteroposterior sway from 4 weeks to 8 weeks (both p<0.05) once upper quadrant exercises on the MUJO devices were added. There were also improvements in functional assessment 1-4 and 4-8 weeks (p<0.05).
The addition of MUJO devices to train the upper quadrant motor control significantly improved balance in both of the mediolateral and anteroposterior directions in this group of subjects.
These findings suggest that the elderly population could see a reduced rate in falls if they adopted the MUJO upper quadrant training protocol with circuit training as described. This would lead to a fall in mortality, morbidity and functional disability caused by falls in the elderly.