Patients who undergo bariatric surgery (BS) have an increased risk of falls. Our aim was to determine if a multicomponent exercise intervention after BS improves balance. Eighty-four patients with obesity enrolled for BS were recruited and 1 month after BS randomly allocated to a control (CG; standard medical care) or exercise group (EG; exercise plus standard medical care) consisting of a supervised multicomponent training program (3d/week; 75 min/session; 5 months). Anthropometry, lower limb muscle strength (isokinetic dynamometer), vitamin D (ELISA) and balance in bipedal stance (force platform) were assessed pre-BS, 1 month and 6 months post-BS. One month post-BS, significant balance improvements were observed, namely in antero-posterior center of gravity (CoG) displacement and velocity, and medio-lateral and total CoG velocity. Between 1- and 6-months post-BS, improvements in balance were observed only in the EG, with a significant treatment effect on CoG displacement area and antero-posterior CoG displacement. No significant differences were observed between EG and CG over time in any of the anthropometric, muscle strength, and vitamin D variables assayed. In conclusion, a multicomponent exercise intervention program improves some balance parameters in patients with severe obesity following BS and therefore should be part of post-BS follow-up care as a potential strategy to reduce falls and associated injuries.
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