Skip to main content

09-09-2010 | Bone health | Article

Home-based exercise improves muscle strength, QoL in osteoporotic elderly


Free abstract

MedWire News: Elderly osteoporotic women may benefit from home-based exercise training with intermittent supervision, suggest study findings that show improvements in muscle strength and quality of life (QoL) physical functioning.

Toshiyuki Horiuchi (Tokyo Metropolitan Geriatric Hospital, Japan) and colleagues say that, until now, there has been little evidence supporting the benefits of home-based muscle training in elderly osteoporotic women.

"Usually, a majority of elderly patients who receive muscle training with equipment or training at home drop out prior to the end of a study," explain the researchers.

Commenting on the current study findings, Horiuchi and team say: "The success in adherence… was probably due to the fact that the exercises were performed in a pleasant, natural environment, with social interaction, and mainly due to the exercise under the supervision of a therapist."

For the study, 63 osteoporotic women aged over 60 years were assigned to 12 months of daily home muscle exercise (n=37, intervention group) or to regular muscle strength assessments without instruction in home daily exercise (n=32, control group). Women in the intervention group were taught exercises to train the muscles of the upper and lower extremities, the abdominal muscles, and back extensor muscles by physiotherapists.

Exercise continuity was monitored using diaries, which were checked every 3 months during hospital follow-up visits when a physiotherapist counselled patients on any problems, and provided motivation and support.

Overall, one woman dropped out of the study due to a femoral neck fracture, with the remainder successfully completing the study. Grip strength and maximum walking speed increased significantlly from baseline in the intervention group (18.2 to 20.2 kg and 102 to 111 m/minute, respectively) but not in the control group (17.1 to 18.6 and 122 to 124 m/minute, respectively).

Physical functioning improved with home-based exercise in the intervention group, but there were no improvements in any of the categories of the Short-Form 36 in the control group.

"In order to prevent frailty and fractures in the elderly, it is necessary to create a better and more pleasant exercise program with which elderly osteoporotics can strengthen the muscles in their extremities and increase QoL," conclude the researchers in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Ingrid Grasmo

Related topics