The effects of community-based exercise modalities and volume on musculoskeletal health and functions in elderly people

Author: Chin Leong Lim1, Nicholas Ling Swee Keong1, Margaret Mei Chan Yap1, Alvin Wai Kit Tan2, Cher Heng Tan1,3, Wee Shiong Lim1,4
1 Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore.
2 Department of Endocrinology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National Healthcare Group, Singapore, Singapore.
3 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National Healthcare Group, Singapore, Singapore.
4 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Institute of Geriatrics and Active Aging, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, Singapore.
Conference/Journal: Front Physiol
Date published: 2023 Jul 10
Other: Volume ID: 14 , Pages: 1227502 , Special Notes: doi: 10.3389/fphys.2023.1227502. , Word Count: 322

The effects of different muscle loading exercise (MLEX) modes and volume on musculoskeletal health is not well-studied in older populations. Aim: Therefore, this study aimed to compare the effects of community-based MLEX modalities and volume on musculoskeletal health in elderly people. Methods: Elderly men (n = 86) and women (n = 170), age 50-82 years old, were assigned to the sedentary (SE, n = 60), muscle strengthening exercise (MSE, n = 71), aerobic exercise (AE, n = 62) and Tai Chi exercise (TCE, n = 63) groups, based on > 2 years of exercise history. Exercise volume was compared between "Minimum" ("Min" < 60 min/week), "Low" (60-120 min/week). "Moderate" (121-239 min/week) and "High" (240-720 min/week) volumes. Results: All three modes of MLEX were associated with lower percentage of body fat (BF%) and higher percentage of lean body mass (LBM%, p = 0.003 main effect of group, and p = 0.002 main effect of volume for both BF% and LBM%), but not with higher bone mineral density (BMD, total body, lumbar spine, total hip and neck of femur), than SE. TCE had a distinct advantage in trunk flexibility (p = 0.007 with MSE, p = 0.02 with AE, and p = 0.01 with SE), and both TCE (p = 0.03) and AE (p = 0.03) performed better than SE in the one-leg stand balance test. Isometric strength and throwing speed and peak power with a 2 kg power ball were higher in the MLEX than SE groups (p = 0.01), in the ranking order of MSE, AE and TCE. However, there was no difference in handgrip strength performance between the MLEX groups, which performed better than the SE participants. Accumulating >120 min/week of MLEX can promote body composition health and muscle functions, but 60 min/week of MSE alone may have equal or better outcomes in these parameters. Conclusion: Community-based MLEX classes may be used to mitigate age-related chronic disease that are associated with body composition and muscular functions.

Keywords: balance; body composition; bone mineral density; flexibility; muscle loading exercise; muscular and bone health; strength.

PMID: 37492640 PMCID: PMC10363600 DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2023.1227502