The benefits of a functional exercise circuit for older adults

J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Aug;19(3):647-51. doi: 10.1519/R-14964.1.


The physical benefits of a functional exercise circuit are not well known in an elderly population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of a functional exercise circuit on mobility and perceived health in the elderly. Subjects were 119 men and women (aged 74 [+/-4.2] years) who received pre- and posttests of mobility (e.g., sit to stand, get up and go, timed walk), flexibility (sit and reach), and balance (standing reach) and who completed the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). A supervised functional exercise circuit that included 10 different upper- and lower-body exercises performed under time constraints was performed 3 times per week for 12 consecutive weeks. Paired t-tests showed significant differences at posttest for the get up and go (p < 0.001), standing reach (p < 0.001), sit and reach (p < 0.001), and selected items from the SF-36, including physical functioning (p < 0.001), pain (p = 0.001), vitality (p = 0.001), and number of doctor visits (p < 0.001). A functional exercise circuit such as the one employed in this study may offer promise as an effective means of promoting mobility and perceived health in older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome