J Korean Geriatr Soc.  1999 Sep;3(2):28-36.

The Effects of Longterm Stretching Exercise on Health Related Fitness of the Elderly Women

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of regular stretching exercise for 1 year on health related fitness of the elderly women. We also determined whether the weekly stretching exercise sessions followed by intensive stretching exercise program was beneficial to maintain the altered health related fitness status. The thirty elderly women (F, 80.1+/-6.6 yr) were participated in this study. Subjects had no serious orthopedic problems. During the study period, they did not perform any regular physical activity beside the stretching exercise. The 1 year stretching exercise programs included 3 days/week stretching exercise session for the first 12 weeks followed by 1 day/week stretching exercise for rest of the study period. The subjects were tested 6 categories of health related fitness factors which included % body fat, flexibility, hand grips, back strength, balance, and agility. The summary of the results of this study were as followed: 1) There were significant increase in FFM and slightly decrease in %BF and WHR after the 3 days/wk stretching exercise program. However, there were significant decrease in FFM and WHR after the 1 day/wk stretching exercise program (p<.05). 2) There were significant increase in flexibility, hand grip strength (Rt.) and balance after the 3 days/wk stretching exercise (p<.05) while hand grip strength (Lt.) and back strength were slightly increase after the exercise. However, there were significant decrease in hand grip strength (both) and reaction time after 1 day/wk stretching exercise program while flexibility, back strength, and balance were slighly decrease after the program. In conclusion, this study showed that the 3 days/wk stretching exercise for 12 weeks result in significant increase of all health related fitness factors (p<.05). However, it showed that some of the HRF factors were decreased after the weekly stretching exercise unexpectedly.

Keyword

Stretching exercise; Health related fitness; Elderly
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