The effects of periodic interruptions of physical activities on the physical capacities of adult active women

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009 Sep-Oct;49(2):268-271. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2008.09.009. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


Physical activity programs adapted to the elderly have been proposed with the purpose of minimizing the alterations provoked by aging. These programs usually present break periods of more than 30 days, at least once a year. The aim of this study was to verify if 30-day interruptions cause alterations in the acquisition of physical capacities for senescent women. The study was longitudinal in design, 125 senescent women completed a physical activity program consisting of stretching, aerobic resistance, strength, power and resistance exercises; coordination, agility and flexibility activities; respiratory and relaxation exercises during almost 2 years. Two periods were selected, containing four evaluations with two activities' interruption periods in between the measurements. The main outcome measures were manual pressing strength, flexibility, dynamic balance and physical conditioning (VO2max). During the program there was an increasing tendency for the muscular strength and the VO2max. A significant improvement in flexibility was noted (p<0.0001), but there was no significant difference between the 3rd and the 4th, and the 7th and the 8th measurements. During the program, the dynamic balance showed significant difference (p<0.0001), but there was no significant difference in the interruption periods. It was possible to observe that 30 days of interruption of physical activities in both studied periods were not enough to significantly alter the values of physical capacities of senescent active women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Postural Balance
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Time Factors