Effects of a dance-based aquatic exercise program in obese postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate the effects of a dance-based aquatic exercise program on functionality, cardiorespiratory capacity, postexercise heart rate, and fatigue in obese postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis.

Methods:

A randomized controlled trial was performed. In all, 34 obese women diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis participated. Women were randomly allocated to an experimental group (n = 17) or a control group (n = 17). Participants in the experimental group were included in an 8-week dance-based aquatic exercise program conducted in community swimming pools. Those in the control group underwent a global aquatic exercise program. The primary outcome measure was functionality assessed with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Secondary outcomes were cardiorespiratory capacity evaluated with the 6-minute walk test, and postexercise heart rate and fatigue assessed using a visual analog scale. Variables were measured at baseline, after the intervention, and at 3-month follow-up.

Results:

A between-group analysis showed significant postintervention differences in functionality (aggregate postintervention WOMAC score of 37.30 ± 16.61 vs 41.83 ± 13.69; P = 0.048) in favor of the experimental group. In addition, significant between-group differences were found after the 8 weeks in cardiorespiratory capacity, postexercise heart rate, and fatigue. Follow-up continued to show significant differences between groups in function (aggregate WOMAC score of 38.60 ± 13.61 vs 42.60 ± 9.05; P = 0.038), postexercise heart rate, and fatigue.

Conclusions:

An 8-week dance-based exercise program significantly improved function and cardiorespiratory capacity, and decreased postexercise heart rate and fatigue. Most of these improvements were maintained at 3-month follow-up in obese postmenopausal women.

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