Physical training effects on the fitness and habitual activity patterns of elderly women

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1992 Jul;73(7):603-8.


This study investigated the effect of a twice-weekly, six-month progressive walking program on 80 healthy women aged 60 to 70 years. Aerobic fitness, blood pressure, skinfold thickness, spirometric variables, and activity profile were studied. No significant differences existed between the training group (TG) and the control group (CG) at the commencement of the study. However, after 26 weeks of training, the TG registered significantly lower heart rates than the CG, both at rest (p = .019) and during the five to six minutes of an ergometer work test (p = .003). A Mann-Whitney U test on the difference scores (26 weeks-0 week) indicated higher scores for the TG compared with the CG for Maximum Current Activity (p = .001) and Normative Impairment Index (p = .002), which are both components of the Human Activity Profile. These data suggest that adherence to a low-frequency training program can elicit positive physiologic changes in elderly women. Furthermore, increased habitual activity patterns are likely to be indicative of improvements in functional ability, lifestyle, and independence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Skinfold Thickness
  • Spirometry
  • Walking