Body composition influenced by progressive elastic band resistance exercise of sarcopenic obesity elderly women: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2017 Aug;53(4):556-563. doi: 10.23736/S1973-9087.17.04443-4. Epub 2017 Jan 12.


Background: Sarcopenia involves age-related decreases in muscle strength and muscle mass, leading to frailty and disability in elderly people. When combined with obesity, it is defined as sarcopenic obesity (SO), which can result in more functional limitations and metabolic disorders than either disorder alone.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate body composition changes after elastic band resistance training in elderly women with SO.

Design: Randomized single-blinded (assessor blinded) controlled pilot trial.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Population: Thirty-five elderly (>60 years old) women with SO.

Methods: This pilot randomized controlled trial focused on elderly women with SO. The study group underwent progressive elastic band resistance training for 12 weeks (3 times per week). The control group received only a 40-minute lesson about the exercise concept. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was performed before and after intervention to evaluate body composition. Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to analyze the differences within and between these groups.

Results: In total, 35 elderly women with SO were enrolled and divided into study (N.=18) and control groups (N.=17). No difference was observed in age, biochemical parameters, or Body Mass Index between both groups. After the intervention, the fat proportion of body composition in the right upper extremity (P=0.03), left upper extremity (P=0.04), total fat (P=0.035), and fat percentage (P=0.012) had decreased, and bone mineral density (BMD) (P=0.026), T-score (P=0.028), and Z-score (P=0.021) had increased in the study group. Besides, statistical difference was observed in outcome measurements of right upper extremity (P=0.013), total fat (P=0.023), and fat percentage (P=0.012) between the groups.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that progressive elastic band resistance exercise can reduce fat mass and increase BMD in elderly women with SO, and that this exercise program is feasible for this demographic. Additional studies with larger sample sizes and longer intervention periods should be conducted.

Clinical rehabilitation impact: Twelve weeks of progressive elastic band resistance exercise program is safe and effective for SO elder women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / rehabilitation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resistance Training / instrumentation*
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology
  • Sarcopenia / rehabilitation*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Taiwan
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Loss