Date of Award
Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)
Susan H.N. Jeno
Postural Balance; Exercise
The purpose of this study was to determine if the six-week "Get Off Your Rocker" balance exercise class, promoted by HealthSouth®, had a significant effect on balance in the geriatric population. If proven to be effective, this class could be an additional tool for physical therapists to utilize to aid in improving a patient's balance.
A total of 22 subjects volunteered to participate in this study. They were randomly divided into two groups: a control group (n=1 0, 8 females and 2 males) and an exercise group (n=12, 8 females and 4 males). All subjects were high functioning and were found to be at a low risk for falls as determined by the Berg Balance Measure. The age of subjects ranged from 60-87, with a mean age of 74.77.
The study included an initial and final evaluation using the Berg Balance Measure, Timed "Up and Go" Test (TU>), the Functional Reach Test, and ankle range of motion measurements. Following the initial assessment, the control group was instructed to continue their normal daily activities during the following six-week period. The exercise group participated in the balance exercise class three times per week for six weeks. The exercises they performed included single leg stance activities, Swiss Ball exercises, tandem walking, and activities that challenged the base of support. Following the six-week period, the Berg Balance Measure, TU>, Functional Reach, and ankle range of motion results were again obtained.
An Analysis of Covariance was used to compare the control group to the exercise group using scores from the Berg Balance Measure, TU>, Functional Reach, and ankle range of motion measurements. An alpha level of p=O.OS was used to determine significance.
Following six weeks of exercising, there was a significant difference between the control group and the exercise group on two tests [F (1,19) = 6.092, p=0.023 for the Berg; F (1,19) = 4.997, p=0.038 for the Functional Reach], with the exercise group demonstrating an increase in scores. There was no significant difference found between the groups for the TU> [F (1,19) = 0.442, p=0.S14] or for ankle range of motion measurements [F (1,19) = 0.110, p=0.743 for ankle dorsiflexion with knee extension; F (1,19) = 0.491, p=0.492 for ankle dorsiflexion with knee flexion].
This six-week balance exercise class significantly improved scores on the Berg Balance Measure and the Functional Reach Test. The "Get Off Your Rocker" balance exercise class can be an effective tool for physical therapists to use for balance training and promoting wellness among the elderly.
Bethard, Heather; Magee, Trish; McGarry, Susie; and McGuire, Sarah, "The Effects of the "Get Off Your Rocker" Exercise Class on Balance" (2002). Physical Therapy Scholarly Projects. 48.