Effects of Pilates training on sleep quality, anxiety, depression and fatigue in postmenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial

Maturitas. 2019 Jun:124:62-67. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2019.03.019. Epub 2019 Mar 28.


Objectives: To analyze the effects that a Pilates-based exercise program has on sleep quality, anxiety, depression and fatigue in community-dwelling Spanish postmenopausal women aged 60 and over.

Study design: A total of 110 women (69.15 ± 8.94 years) participated in this randomized controlled trial. They were randomly allocated to either a control (n = 55) or a Pilates (n = 55) group.

Main outcome measures: Sleep quality and self-perceived fatigue were assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Fatigue Severity Scale, respectively. Anxiety and depression were evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).

Results: Significant improvements were observed after Pilates training in all PSQI domains as well as in the PSQI total score, with small to medium-size effects, while significant between-group differences in post-intervention measures were observed only for sleep duration (d = 0.69) and sleep disturbances (d = 0.78). Moreover, intra- and inter-group statistical differences were observed for depression (d = 0.39 and d = 0.86, respectively) and for anxiety (d = 0.43 and d = 1.27 respectively). Finally, participants in the Pilates group experienced a decrease in self-perceived fatigue after the intervention period (d = 0.32).

Conclusions: For community-dwelling Spanish postmenopausal women aged 60 years and over, a twelve-week Pilates exercise intervention has beneficial effects on sleep quality, anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Fatigue; Pilates; Postmenopausal women; Sleep quality.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Depression / therapy*
  • Exercise Movement Techniques*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy*