Difficulty walking is a common complaint among seniors as they age, and new research suggests that simple changes in the way that we exercise may be able to reduce this issue, along with boosting independence

AgedCareGuide.com.au recently noted: “The Pittsburgh researchers also suggest in the study that walking issues could contribute to loss of independence, higher rates of morbidity, and increased mortality, and that exercise is beneficial to physical and mental health and may prevent walking difficulty – observations that have also been noted in recent data collection undertaken by Southern Cross Care.”

A timing and coordination group exercise (On The Move) was trialled against the kind of seated strength, endurance, and flexibility exercise program that is typically found within residential aged care facilities (Usual Care), and the results were extremely positive.

The On The Move exercises consisted of a warm-up, stepping & walking patterns that were goal oriented and got progressively harder and promoted the timing and coordination of stepping, strengthening and cool down.

“The On the Move group exercise program was more effective at improving mobility than a usual-care exercise program, despite lower attendance”

This is a positive step forward in looking at how we can make small changes in our daily routines to see large gains in independence and overall health. Since this was a small scale study, further research is suggested prior to the being routinely recommended for implementation into clinical practice.