Effect of long-term, community-based daily exercise on the ability to control the dynamic standing balance of Japanese elderly persons in relation to falls

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It is widely accepted that daily exercise improves the dynamic standing balance of elderly persons. In the current study, 77 community-dwelling Japanese elderly persons (aged 71.1 ± 0.5 years) participated in a daily exercise program to assess its effect on their dynamic standing balance. The daily exercise consisted of walking, stretching, muscle strengthening, and balance exercises. The program ran for 31 months and the dynamic standing balance was assessed at the start of the program and again at 3, 7, 12, 19, 24, and 31 months. In most of the tests of dynamic standing balance, the measured values improved drastically in the first 7 months; thereafter, they either reached a plateau or continued to improve more slowly. These findings can contribute to the future planning of community-based exercise programs; in particular, the length of the program and the timing of changes to the exercise load.

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