Comparison of the effects of a home-based and group-based resistance training program on functional ability in older adults

Am J Health Promot. 2008 Sep-Oct;23(1):13-7. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.07030120.


Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of home- and group-based, progressive resistance training programs and a group walking program in improving functional performance in older adults.

Design: A quasi-experimental trial, in which retirement villages were assigned to one of three groups: home-based resistance training, group-based resistance training, and group-based walking.

Subjects: One hundred sixty-seven retirement village residents aged 65 to 96 years.

Intervention: Nine resistance training exercises, using graded exercise bands and body weight, two balance exercises, and 10 stretches. Home-based participants were given an exercise booklet, 8 hours of instruction, and telephone support. Instructors supervised the group-based resistance training and walking programs. Each group exercised twice weekly for 20 weeks.

Measures: Functional performance (strength, aerobic endurance, flexibility, and agility/ dynamic balance) was assessed using the Senior Fitness Test.

Analysis: Intervention effects were evaluated using mixed-model, repeated measures analysis of variance.

Results: Significant between-group differences were observed only for the lower-body flexibility test. Group resistance training participants improved, but home resistance training and walking participants did not. However, strength, lower-body flexibility, and agility/dynamic balance improved in the group-based resistance training participants, and strength and upper-body flexibility improved in the home-based participants. No improvements were observed in the walking group.

Conclusion: Findings support the implementation of both home- and group-based resistance training programs in retirement villages. Encouraging residents to adopt and maintain a resistance training program remains a research priority.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Walking