Background: The effects of physical fitness and age on motor function in older adults who continue to exercise remain unclear. This study aimed to examine the effects of participation in self-management exercise groups in adults aged ≥65 years.
Methods: The motor functions of 372 citizens who participated in a self-management exercise group for 1 year were examined. The motor functions were assessed by measuring grip strength, five-repetition sit-to-stand test, 5-m fastest walking time (walking time) and timed up and go test. The participants were grouped according to their baseline grip strength (low or high grip strength groups). The baseline parameters were compared to those assessed 1 year after group participation. In addition, the rates of long-term care/support need certification were examined at 2-year follow-up.
Results: In the low grip strength group aged ≥75 years, the grip strength of men, and grip strength and five-repetition sit-to-stand test results of women improved after 1 year. In the high grip strength group, the five-repetition sit-to-stand and timed up and go test results of men aged 65-74 years and five-repetition sit-to-stand test results of men aged ≥75 years improved. Among women in the high grip strength group, grip strength, five-repetition sit-to-stand test, walking time, and timed up and go test results improved in the participants aged 65-74 and ≥ 75 years. The number of new long-term care/support need certifications was comparable in both groups.
Conclusions: Participation in self-management exercise groups led to maintaining or improving physical fitness among community-dwelling-older adults. Furthermore, higher baseline grip strength was associated with improvements in many motor functions; therefore, participation in self-management exercise groups before the onset of functional decline is desirable.
Keywords: Community-dwelling; Exercise group; Older adults; Participation; Self-management.
© 2022. The Author(s).