Effect of Squat Exercises on Lung Function in Elderly Women with Sarcopenia

J Clin Med. 2018 Jul 5;7(7):167. doi: 10.3390/jcm7070167.


We explored whether a mechanically-assisted squat exercise improved muscle mass, muscle function, and pulmonary function in elderly women with or without sarcopenia. In total, 76 community-dwelling elderly subjects (>60 years of age) were screened. We ultimately included 30 subjects who completed more than 80% of the six-week course of mechanically-assisted squat exercises (three days per week, 30 min per day). We measured body composition, lung function, knee extensor strength, hand grip strength, and the 3-min walk distance (3MWD) before and after the exercise program. Subjects with sarcopenia had poor hand grip strength and knee extensor strength, and a slow walking speed. Their lung function parameters, including forced vital capacity (FVC), was lower than those of the controls. After six weeks of squat exercises, the hand grip strength, knee extensor strength, and 3MWD increased significantly in both groups. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass and leg lean mass were increased in subjects without sarcopenia. The FVC (L) increased significantly only in the sarcopenia group (p = 0.019). The mechanically-assisted squat exercise program increased muscle function and lung function, including FVC, in patients with sarcopenia. Muscle mass increased in subjects without sarcopenia.

Keywords: respiratory function; sarcopenia; squat exercise.