Changes in flexed posture, musculoskeletal impairments, and physical performance after group exercise in community-dwelling older women

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007 Feb;88(2):192-9. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2006.10.033.


Objective: To determine whether improvements in flexed posture, strength, range of motion (ROM), and physical performance would be observed after 12 weeks of group exercise in older women who because of age are prone to flexed posture and impaired physical function.

Design: Pretest-posttest of outcome measures.

Setting: Outpatient academic medical center.

Participants: Twenty-one women with thoracic kyphosis of 50 degrees or greater.

Intervention: Multidimensional group exercise performed 2 times a week for 12 weeks.

Main outcome measures: Primary dependent measures of flexed posture included kyphosis, forward head, and height. Other dependent measures included spinal extensor muscle strength; shoulder, hip, and knee ROM; balance; modified Physical Performance Test (PPT); jug test; and gait speed.

Results: Baseline kyphosis was 57 degrees +/-5.0 degrees , and age was 72.0+/-4.2 years. There were significant improvements in usual (-6 degrees +/-3 degrees ) and best kyphosis (-5 degrees +/-3 degrees ) (P<.001), spinal extensor muscle strength (21%+/-13% of peak torque/body weight, P<.001), popliteal angle (right, 7 degrees +/-7 degrees ; left, 9 degrees +/-10 degrees ; P<.001), modified PPT (2+/-2 points, P<.001), and jug test (-1.4+/-1.3s, P<.001). Age and modified PPT at baseline correlated with change in kyphosis (r=0.5, P=.02; r=.42, P=.055, respectively).

Conclusions: Multidimensional group exercise reduced measured kyphosis and improved strength, ROM, and physical performance. This study provides a promising exercise intervention that may improve posture and physical performance in older women with flexed posture.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kyphosis / physiopathology
  • Kyphosis / rehabilitation*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology