|This cross-sectional study aimed to compare the balance performance, incidences and consequences of fall, and quality of life between regularly and irregularly exercise elderly. The subjects enrolled for this study were elderly of both sexes (60-75 yrs; n = 120) that were dwelling in Muang district, Amnatchareon province. The subjects were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was a regularly exercise elderly group (n = 60; mean age 65.003.90 yrs) who had been exercised regularly at least 3 times a week, 30 minute a session with borg scale of 12 i.e. feel tired during exercise ,and consecutively for 9 months. Group 2 was an irregularly exercise elderly group (n = 60; mean age 65.953.79 yrs) who had not been exercised or had been exercised less than the criteria above. Both groups were homogeneous of age, body weight, height, and body mass index. General data, incidences and consequences of fall within 6 months prior to the study were obtained by interviewing the subjects using directed questionnaires. Balance performances were assessed by Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT). Quality of life (QOL) within 1 month prior to the study was evaluated using WHOQOL-BREF-THAI questionnaires.
The results showed that the balance performance of regularly exercise elderly group were significantly better than the irregularly exercise group with BBS of 55.20 ± 0.81 and 52.90 ± 2.27, respectively (p < 0.001) and TUGT of 8.22 ± 1.35 and 12.65 ± 2.76 seconds, respectively (p < 0.001). The incidences of fall in the regularly exercise group were lower than those in the irregularly exercise group (13.3% VS 30.0%). When the fall happened the consequences of fall in the regularly exercise group were also lower than in the irregularly group. Irregularly exercise elderly experienced more injuries after fall than regularly exercise elderly. Multiple falls caused an inability to work, more time on bed, and less social participation in irregularly exercise elderly. The overall QOL of the regularly exercise group were also better than those of the irregularly exercise group with the WHOQOL-BRE-THAI score of 99.37 ± 12.77 and 93.68 ± 14.02, respectively (p < 0.05). The QOL of regularly exercise group were significantly better than those of the irregularly exercise group in physical health and environmental categories (p<0.05 and p=0.001, respectively)
This study indicated that exercise improves balance performance in elderly, which leads the elderly to have a confidence in their balances, subsequently reduces incidences and consequences of fall. Reduction in consequences of fall could bring the elderly to live their life and perform daily activities independently without ambulatory aids. Finally, regularly exercise improves social participation and, therefore, the quality of life of the elderly.