Effectiveness of a balance-focused exercise program for enhancing functional fitness of older adults at risk of falling: A randomised controlled trial

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This study examined the effectivenss of a balance-focused training program (i.e., Exercise for Balance Improvement Program, ExBP) in improving functional fitness of older nonfallers at risk of falling. Sixty-one participants were randomly assigned to receive 16 weeks of ExBP or Tai Chi (TC) training, or no treatment (CON) with an 8-week follow-up. The Senior Fitness Test battery was applied to assess functional fitness. After the intervention, results revealed significant improvements in all fitness components in the ExBP group. Compared with the CON group, the ExBP group demonstrated more improvements in lower extremity muscle strength, agility and balance, and aerobic endurance. The ExBP group also displayed more improvements in aerobic endurance than the TC group in posttest and follow-up test. Therefore, the balance-focused exercise can be applied as an effective way in improving overall functional fitness among older nonfallers who are at risk of falling.

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