1. Matzo, Marianne PhD, GNP-BC, FAAN

Article Content

Research supports a range of options that can provide benefit.


After admission to a long-term care facility, elderly people commonly become increasingly sedentary, and the decrease in activity can have adverse effects on basic physical functioning and the ability to perform common activities of daily living. Researchers conducted a systematic review of the literature to determine the components of an optimal exercise program for the prevention of frailty among residents of long-term care facilities and older adults living in the community.


The authors considered articles reporting randomized, controlled trials that investigated the effects of exercise on performance measures of physical functioning in frail elderly people. The 18 studies included in the review describe diverse exercise programs involving resistance, endurance, balance, and flexibility training given mostly two or three times weekly for 45 to 60 minutes per session. The authors note that professionals who work with older adults often underestimate their functional abilities and could offer them more challenging exercise programs. Further, the authors' review suggests that costly exercise equipment is not necessary to improve physical functioning.


The crux of the matter. Exercise is an important factor in maintaining health and physical functioning throughout life. Health care professionals should not underestimate the ability of older adults to engage in physical activity of varied intensity.


Chin A Paw MJM, et al. Long-term Care Interface 2007;8(6):14-6, 19.