Objective: We evaluated the effects of exercise on neurobehavioral function in healthy older people more than 75 years of age.
Design: A randomized controlled trial with 6-month follow-up was conducted.
Setting: The study was performed in the rural town of Kahoku, Japan, the population of which is considered representative of the older population of Japan.
Participants: We studied 42 healthy volunteers (18 men and 24 women; mean age, 79 years (range 75 to 87 years)) who were randomly assigned to one of two groups, exercise or control.
Intervention: Subjects assigned to the exercise group were instructed to exercise for 60 minutes twice a week for 6 months. Subjects in the control group were not instructed to engage in an specific exercise regimen.
Measurements: The following measurements were recorded for both groups at baseline and at 6-month follow-up: (1) Neurobehavioral function as determined by the following tests: Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), Hasegawa Dementia Scale Revised (HDSR), Visuospatial Cognitive Performance Test (VCP-test), Button score, Up & Go test, and Functional Reach; and (2) Body mass index and blood pressure.
Results: The effects of exercise were shown in the Up & Go test, and Functional Reach (ANOVA with repeated measures).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the acceptability and effectiveness of exercise on neurobehavioral function, even in older people more than 75 years of age.