[The effective of facial exercises on the mental health in elderly adults]

Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 2018;55(1):74-80. doi: 10.3143/geriatrics.55.74.
[Article in Japanese]


Aim: Although it is well documented that exercising is good for the mental health and cognitive function as well as the physical condition in elderly people, exercising is difficult in elderly individuals with a low motor function. To develop an exercise program targeting elderly individuals unsuited for whole-body exercises, we assessed the effects of facial exercises on the mental health in healthy elderly people.

Methods: Community-dwelling older adults (N = 75, age range = 65-87 years) were randomly divided into a facial exercises group and a wait-listed control group. A facial exercises program of 30 min was given twice a week for 12 weeks. This program consisted of rhythmic facial movement, muscle stretching, facial yoga, and Tanden breathing. The GHQ-12 for mental health were administered to both groups before and after the 12-week study period. In addition, the facial expression and tongue muscle power were measured.

Results: Fifty-three participants completed the protocol. In the intervention group, the GHQ-12, facial expression, and tongue muscle power improved post-intervention.

Conclusions: These results suggest that facial exercises are effective in improving the mental health, facial expression, tongue muscle power of elderly people, and that exercises may be useful as a therapeutic modality in this population.

Keywords: Elderly; Facial exercises; Mental health; Mood; Tongue depressor.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Face*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health
  • Muscle Strength