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Open access

César de Souza Santos, Samária Cader, Estélio Dantas and Maria Moreira

Physical fitness of post-menopausal women submitted to a physical activities programme

Study aim: To evaluate the effects of the ‘Menopause-in-Shape Programme’ on physical fitness of elderly women.

Material and methods: A group of 323 elderly women lodged in the House for the Elderly participated in a 10-month programme (dancing or walking) and formed the experimental group. Another group of 289 elderly women (control) were sedentary throughout the study. All of them aged 60 - 89 years. Both groups were subjected to the Fullerton Functional Fitness Test battery: chair stand test (CST), arm curl test (ACT), 6-min walk test (6-WT), 2-min step test (2-ST), chair sit and reach test (SRT), scratch test (SCT) and 8-foot up and go test (8-UG).

Results: In the experimental group, improvements were noted in CST (by 11.7%; p<0.001), ACT (by 9%; p<0.001), 2-ST (by 2.2%; p<0.001) and 8-UG (by 0.4%; p<0.05) but not in somatic variables. No significant changes were noted in the control group.

Conclusions: The Menopause-in-Shape Programme is an efficient tool in improving physical fitness of elderly women even if no somatic effects can be expected.

Open access

Fernanda Daniel, Rodrigo Vale, Tânia Giani, Sílvia Bacellar and Estélio Dantas

Effects of a Physical Activity Program on Static Balance and Functional Autonomy in Elderly Women

Aim. The aim of study was to assess the effects of a physical activity program on static balance and functional autonomy in elderly women.

Materials and Methods. The sample was randomly divided into an experimental group (EG), submitted physical activity program, and a control (CG). Mean postural amplitude oscillations were measured in displacement from the center of pressure (COP), left lateral (LLD), right lateral (RLD), anterior (AD) posterior (PD) and elliptical (EA) areas by an electronic baropodometer. Functional autonomy was composed of: walking 10 m (10MW), rising from a sitting position (RSP), rising from a ventral decubitus position (RVDP), rising from a chair and moving about the house (RCMH) and putting on and removing a t-shirt (PRTS).

Results. Two-way ANOVA showed that amplitude oscillation of COP in RLD, AD, PD and EA of the EG was significantly lower (p < 0.05) than the oscillation obtained by the CG in the post-test. The RSP, RCMH, 10MW and RVDP tests showed that execution times in the RSP, RCMH, 10MW and RVDP tests of the EG were significantly lower (p < 0.05) than the times executed by the CG in the post-test.

Conclusion. These results show that the elderly in the EG improved balance and performance in the activities of daily living.

Open access

Estélio Dantas, Rejane Daoud, Alexis Trott, Rudy Nodari and Mario Conceição

Flexibility: components, proprioceptive mechanisms and methods

A literature review on physical flexibility was presented and discussed. This included definitions and components that influence the performance of movements requiring large joint motion ranges and muscle elasticity. Flexibility was discussed with reference to specific age groups, e.g. children and the elderly. Proprioceptive mechanisms and components directly related to flexibility were overviewed, as well as suitable approaches towards flexibilisation, i.e. maintaining and/or enhancing flexibility.

Open access

Juliana Torres, Mario Conceição, Adriane de Oliveira Sampaio and Estélio Dantas

Acute effects of static stretching on muscle strength

Study aim: To assess the effects of static passive maximal stretching on muscle performance in order to clarify the existing controversies.

Material and methods: Two randomly selected groups of the Brazilian Air Force personnel were studied: experimental (n = 15), subjected to 3 bouts of static passive stretching exercises of wrist flexors and extensors (beyond a mild discomfort). Every bout lasted 10 s and was followed by a 30-s rest. The control group (n = 15) performed no exercises. Muscle strength was measured with a handgrip dynamometer before and 20 min after the test.

Results: Subjects from the experimental group had the pre-exercise handgrip strength significantly higher than postexercise (by about 7%; p<0.01). No significant decrease was noted in the control group.

Conclusions: Static passive stretching induces decreases in muscle strength.

Open access

Olivia da Rocha Mafra, Elirez da Silva, Tania Giani, Carlos Neves, Rauena Lopes and Estélio Dantas

Hydroxyproline Levels in Young Adults Undergoing Muscular Stretching and Neural Mobilization

This study aimed to assess the acute effect of stretching and neural mobilization on urinary hydroxyproline (HP) levels in young adults. The sample, composed of physical therapy students from Teresina (PI), was divided into three groups: a neural mobilization group (NMG; n=15; age=22±3 years; BMI=24.75±3.09); a static stretching group (SSG; n=15; age=23±4 years; BMI: 25±4.33) and a control group (CG; n=15; age: 24±4 years; BMI: 23.91±3.09). The NMG underwent neural mobilization of the sciatic nerve while engaged in hip flexion with knee extension in a direct, oscillatory and strenuous manner for 60 seconds. The SSG performed passive static stretching, which consisted of the maintenance of a high amplitude posture, without exceeding the limits of the movement, for a period of tension ranging from four to six seconds. Urinary HP was evaluated at the baseline and 24 hours after the intervention using the colorimetric method. Repeated measures ANOVA showed significant intragroup increases in the NMG (Δ7.38 mg/24h; p=0.0001) and the SSG (Δ=3.47 mg/24h; p=0.002) and inter-group increases in the NMG (Δ%=118.89%) when compared to the SSG (Δ%=60.32%; p=0.006) and the CG (Δ%=-0.91%; p=0.0001). These results indicate that the NMG worked with tension beyond the ordinary amplitude arches of articular movement, thus causing a restructuring of collagen.

Open access

Carneiro Erica, Araùjo Nazete, Cader Samaria, Fonseca Aluizio, Bittencourt Leila, Mendes Stefanie and Dantas Estélio


Introduction: Urinary incontinence (UI), according to the Committee of the International Continence Society Standards, is defined as any involuntary urine loss associated to exertion conditions. This urine loss can be called Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) and when the detrusor muscle becomes inactive

Material and methods: The goal of this study was verifying intravaginal electrical stimulation effects on bladder floor mobility, pelvic floor muscles´ width, their contraction ability and the quality of life of 40 women whose age ranged from 35 to 55 and who were diagnosed with Stress Urinary Incontinence disorder. They were split into two groups: Geletro (underwent 16 perineal electrical stimulation sessions) and control group, Gc (no intervention). The variables were respectively evaluated by the following instruments: transvaginal ultrassonography (Toshiba trademark), Phenix electromyographic biofeedback and King´s Health Questionnaire.

Results: The results were bladder floor mobility reduction (Δ% = -9,13%, p=0,0930), width increase on pelvic floor muscles (Δ% = 11,64%, p= 0,2924), both not significant, muscle strength increase due to biofeedback (Δ% =60,49%, p= 0,0001) and to AFA* (Δ% = 24,53%, p=0,0001), and significant decrease of all questionnaire scores: DOM 1 (Δ% = -50,00%, p = 0,000), DOM 2 (Δ% = -55,14%, p= 0,005), DOM 3 (Δ% =-74,98 %, p= 0,002), DOM 4 (Δ% = -73,87%, p= 0,002), DOM 5 (Δ% = -68,91%, p= 0,001), DOM 6 (Δ% = -85,90%, p= 0,000), DOM 7 (Δ% = -72,48%, p= 0,014), DOM 8 (Δ% =-71,88 %, p= 0,030), DOM 9Δ% =-73,29 %, p= 0,023)

Conclusions: The Geletro group in comparison to the Gc which showed that intravaginal electrical stimulation improved the pelvic floor anatomically and functionally and also the quality of life of Geletro group. Stress Urinary Incontinence improvement could only be subjectively demonstrated.

Open access

Juan Colado, Xavier Garcia-Masso, Michael Rogers, Victor Tella, Juan Benavent and Estelio Dantas

Effects of Aquatic and Dry Land Resistance Training Devices on Body Composition and Physical Capacity in Postmenopausal Women

To determine the effects of a supervised strength training program on body composition and physical capacity of older women using three different devices: weight machines, elastic bands, and aquatic devices that increase drag forces (ADIDF). Four groups were formed: control group, weight machine group (WMG), elastic band group (EBG) and a group that used ADIDF (ADIDFG). Body composition and physical capacity were assessed before and after the intervention period. The ADIDFG showed improvements in fat mass (FM), fat-free mass of the left arm (FFM-LA) and right arm (FFM-RA), knee push-up test (KPT), squat test (ST) and crunch test (CT) (p <0.05). Individuals in the EBG and WMG also improved their FM, fat free mass (FFM), FFM-LA, FFM-RA, KPU, ST and CT. ADIDF training improves body composition and physical capacity of postmenopausal women as does performing land-based training programs.

Open access

Leila Beuttenmüller, Samária Cader, Raimunda Macena, Nazete Araujo, Érica Nunes and Estélio Dantas

Muscle contraction of the pelvic floor and quality of life of women with stress urinary incontinence who underwent kinesitherapy

Introduction: the World Health Organization recommends physical therapy in patients with mild to moderate Urinary Incontinence (UI) as the first line of treatment. Aim: Evaluate the effect of electrical stimulation on muscle contraction of the pelvic floor and quality of life of women with stress UI (SUI). Methods: experimental study with 75 female patients randomly divided into: G1: electrical stimulation therapy with kinesitherapy; G2: kinesitherapy; G3: control group. Parameters evaluated: anthropometric measurements, physical examination of the pelvic floor (AP), pelvic floor muscles (AFA) and the degree of contraction of the AP (CAP) by the activity of the muscles [Type I (TI) and Type II (TII)] and Quality of life (QOL). Intervention consisted of 12 sessions, two sessions per week for six weeks. Descriptive statistics were used and the Student's t test or Wilcoxon paired test for the intra-group analysis. For the inter-group analyses, we used the Kruskal Wallis followed by the Mann-Whitney (AFA and QOL) and two-way ANOVA followed by Scheffe post hoc test (CAP). The p< 0.05 was adopted for statistical significance. Results: there was a significant difference in: AFA TI and AFA TII (G1 x G3 and G2 x G3); CAP TI (G2 x G3). There was a significant reduction in all domains of QOL in G1 and G2 except for DOM 6 in G2. The G3 group did not display any significant results. Conclusions: both physical therapy treatments (G1 and G2) were effective in the improvement in pelvic floor muscular functioning and in quality of life.

Open access

Valéria do Valle, Danielli de Mello, Marcos de Sá Fortes and Estélio Dantas

Effects of indoor cycling associated with diet on body composition and serum lipids

Study aim: To determine the effects of indoor cycling training combined with restricted diet, lasting 12 weeks, on serum lipid concentrations in obese women.

Material and methods: Twenty women aged 23.8 ± 3.6 years were randomly assigned into two groups: control (C) and experimental (E), the latter subjected to indoor cycling at various loads, 3 sessions weekly, every session lasting 45 min, combined with restricted diet (about 1200 kcal daily) for 12 weeks. The following variables were recorded: body height and mass, BMI, relative body fat content (from 7 skinfolds), fat-free mass, triglycerides, cholesterol and lipoproteins (HDL, LDL, VLDL).

Results: Significant increase in HDL and significant decreases in all other variables (except body height) were noted only in the experimental group.

Conclusions: Indoor cycling associated with restricted diet is an excellent option in controlling obesity and serum lipids.

Open access

Paulo de Salles, Fabrício Vasconcellos, Gil de Salles, Renato Fonseca and Estélio Dantas

Validity and Reproducibility of the Sargent Jump Test in the Assessment of Explosive Strength in Soccer Players

The purpose of this study was to check the validity and the intra- and inter-evaluators reproducibility of the Sargent Jump Test, as an instrument of explosive strength measurement of soccer players of the sub-15 class. Forty-five soccer players were randomly selected from different clubs competing in the local soccer championship. All subjects performed one test on the same jump platform model Jumptest® (Hidrofit Ltda, Brazil) and two independent Sargent Jump Tests assessed by the same evaluator. Two days later, another Sargent Jump Test was performed simultaneously assessed by 2 evaluators. In all tests, three jumps were performed and the highest one was registered. In order to check the validity, the first Sargent Jump Test results were compared to those from the jump platform, considered the gold standard. To evaluate intra- and inter-evaluator reproducibility, results from the first, second and third Sargent Jump Tests were analyzed. The validity and reproducibility were evaluated by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), and by the Bland and Altman test (statistical pack SPSS 11.0), with a significance level set at p<0.05. The values found for validity (r=0.99, p=0.001), for intra-evaluator reproducibility (r=0.99, p=0.001) and for inter-evaluator reproducibility (r=1.0, p=0.001), permitted us to conclude that the Sargent Jump Test is a valid and reproducible instrument for measuring the explosive strength in homogeneous groups, such as those used in the present study.