Arm-crank training improves postural stability and physical functioning in older people

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Background: Arm crank ergometry (ACE) has been shown to elicit marked improvements in lower body exercise capacity among older individuals. It is currently unknown whether ACE is effective in alleviating functional consequences of aging, such as balance and physical function. Objective: To determine the efficacy of ACE training on balance, mobility and cardiorespiratory fitness in older people. Design and Participants: Two-arm, randomised parallel trial; assessment at baseline and post-intervention. Participants who were aged >65 years and community-dwelling. Exclusion criteria included neurological and musculoskeletal disease, cognitive problems and/or cardiovascular/pulmonary diseases. Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to six weeks of seated ACE (n = 10) or stationary cycling (control group) (n = 10) training, 3 times per week. Main outcome measures: The outcomes were functional balance and mobility, postural sway, upper body strength and cardiorespiratory fitness. Results: ACE training resulted in increased functional reach distance (d= 0.83 – 1.28), faster timed-up-and-go execution (d= 1.36) and reduced mediolateral postural sway (d= 0.8 - 1.3). Both ACE and CYC interventions elicited similar increases in mode-specific (%∆ ~25) and cross-transfer (%∆ ~13) peak oxygen uptake (P<0.05). Conclusions: The findings highlight that ACE training is effective in alleviating functional consequences of ageing, such as balance and mobility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Early online date10 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Experimental Gerontology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Experimental Gerontology, [113], (2018)] DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.10.007

© 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


  • Fall-risk
  • Neuromuscular performance
  • Postural balance
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Upper-body exercise
  • Cardiovascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Ageing
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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