OBJECTIVE: To determine exercise efficacy in improving dynamic balance in community-dwelling elderly with a fall history. METHODS: Thirty-five participants were randomly assigned to a treatment (TG; n = 19, 77 ? 7 yr) or control group (CG; n = 16, 75 ? 8 yr). The TG received an individualized home exercise program, and the CG received phone calls twice per week for 12 weeks. Participants' dynamic-balance abilities- directional control (DC), endpoint excursion (EE), maximum excursion (ME), reaction time (RT), and movement velocity (MV)-were measured using the Balance Master at 75% limits of stability. Functional reach (FR) was also measured. RESULTS: At 12 weeks the TG demonstrated significant improvements in DC (p < .0025), EE (p < .0005), and ME (p < .0005), but the CG did not. No significant group differences were found for MV, RT, or FR. CONCLUSIONS: Excursion distances and directional control improved but not reaction time, suggesting that exercises requiring quick responses may be needed.
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 19(4),291-305