Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Effects of Participation in Arthritis Aquatics on Selected Physical and Mental Measures among Older Adults. (Special Populations)

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Effects of Participation in Arthritis Aquatics on Selected Physical and Mental Measures among Older Adults. (Special Populations)

Article excerpt

The long-term benefits of physical activity and exercise have been shown to provide numerous health gains to older adults (Karani, McLaughlin, & Cassel, 2001). Remaining physically active can contribute to successful aging by maintaining function, improving psychological well being, managing chronic pain, and enabling a more independent lifestyle. Despite the benefits of land-based exercise, repetitive weight bearing can inflict strain on the joints and muscles of older adults (Evans, Cureton, & Purvis, 1978). Aquatic exercise is a rapidly growing alternative, especially for individuals with arthritic disabilities. A widely used form of aquatic exercise is the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP). The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of participation in an AFAP on improving physical and psychological performance as well as daily life functioning of older adults. Participants were 10 men and 12 women (M age = 76.36, SD = 7.28). The 11-week program consisted of 1-hr pool sessions on a MWF schedule. Sessions were lead by a certified Arthritis Foundation instructor. Prior to beginning the program participants completed a questionnaire on medical history along with informed consent statements. Preand postdata collected on mental measures included the Brief Pain Inventory and the Zung's Self-Rating Depression Scale. Data on physical measures were obtained from the following tests: sit and reach, hand grip dynamometer, Sharpened Rhomberg Test along with dominant and nondominant onelegged tests, and two items from a standardized Activities of Daily Living Scale measuring mobility and dressing. …

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