Public access from 1-nov-2019

Long-Term Exercise in Older Adults: 4-Year Outcomes of Music-Based Multitask Training

Hars, Mélany ; Herrmann, François ; Fielding, Roger ; Reid, Kieran ; Rizzoli, René ; Trombetti, Andrea

In: Calcified Tissue International, 2014, vol. 95, no. 5, p. 393-404

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    Prospective controlled evidence supporting the efficacy of long-term exercise to prevent physical decline and reduce falls in old age is lacking. The present study aimed to assess the effects of long-term music-based multitask exercise (i.e., Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics) on physical function and fall risk in older adults. A 3-year follow-up extension of a 1-year randomized controlled trial (NCT01107288) was conducted in Geneva (Switzerland), in which 134 community-dwellers aged ≥65years at increased risk of falls received a 6-month music-based multitask exercise program. Four years following original trial enrolment, 52 subjects (baseline mean±SD age, 75±8years) who (i) have maintained exercise program participation through the 4-year follow-up visit ("long-term intervention group”, n=23) or (ii) have discontinued participation following original trial completion ("control group”, n=29) were studied. They were reassessed in a blind fashion, using the same procedures as at baseline. At 4years, linear mixed-effects models showed significant gait (gait speed, P=0.006) and balance (one-legged stance time, P=0.015) improvements in the long-term intervention group, compared with the control group. Also, long-term intervention subjects did better on Timed Up & Go, Five-Times-Sit-to-Stand and handgrip strength tests, than controls (P<0.05, for all comparisons). Furthermore, the exercise program reduced the risk of falling (relative risk, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.5-0.9; P=0.008). These findings suggest that long-term maintenance of a music-based multitask exercise program is a promising strategy to prevent age-related physical decline in older adults. They also highlight the efficacy of sustained long-term adherence to exercise for falls prevention.