Evaluation of a group exercise program for elderly women

L. R. Amundsen, J. M. DeVahl, C. T. Ellingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the physical training effect of a specific set of calisthenics performed by a supervised group of elderly women. The exercise program was designed to be performed by groups of subjects without using expensive equipment, large gymnasiums, or outdoor facilities. Fourteen women with an average age of 75.7 years trained for eight weeks. Five women with an average age of 71.8 years served as the control group. Submaximal graded exercise tolerance (GXT) step tests were performed before and after training. Significant decreases in submaximal GXT heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and rate-pressure product (RPP) were observed in the exercise group. Predicted maximal aerobic power (MAP) increased 12.4% in the exercise group. The control group demonstrated significant decreases for submaximal GXT SBP and RPP, but not for HR. Predicted MAP for the control group decreased 3.3%. We concluded that this particular training regimen could be used safely and effectively with elderly subjects. The decrease in submaximal GXT HR, SBP, and RPP and the increase in predicted MAP indicate that a training effect can be expected when this exercise regimen is performed by sedentary elderly women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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