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.