Comparative Study of Balance Exercises (Frenkel) and Aerobic Exercises (Walking) on Improving Balance in the Elderly
Introduction: Balance in the elderly is one of the important issues, and imbalance can create irreparable problems for the elderly. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Frenkel balance exercise and aerobic exercise (walking) on improving the balance of elderly patients in Kerman province in 2016-2017.
Methods: We used a randomized block design, with 4 participants in each block; 48 elderly men and women living in the nursing homes of Kerman province were randomly assigned to two groups, balance (Frenkel) exercises and aerobic exercises (walking). The two groups performed Frenkel exercises and aerobic exercises (walking) for three 10- to 15-min sessions a week for five weeks. The balance time using the Sharpened Romberg test was recorded to measure static balance and the Get Up and Go test used to measure dynamic balance before and after the exercise program. To describe the variables studied, central tendency indicators and dispersion were used. Paired t-test was used to compare the time of balance before and after intervention and independent t-test to compare changes in balance time between two groups.
Results: The mean static balance (with Sharpend Römberg test) was increased from 3.16 s to 6.01 s in Frenkel exercise, and from 3.33 s to 4.95 s in aerobic training group, indicating an improvement in the static balance after intervention. The mean time of dynamic balance (in the Get Up and Go test) during Frenkel exercise reduced from 17.07 s to 12.03 s, and during aerobic training from 17.08 s to 10.9 seconds, indicating an improvement in dynamic balance (p < 0.01). However, there was no significant difference in the mean changes in the duration of dynamic and static balance before and after intervention in the two groups.
Conclusion: Both Frenkel exercise and walking equally improve static and dynamic balance in the elderly in different settings.