Analysis of postural balance in older adult practitioners and non-practitioners of Pilates

Liliam Graziely Rodrigues da Cruz, Willian Bernard de Paula Effgen, Daniela Branco Liposcki, Mabel Gonçalves Almeida, Janine Carvalho Valentino Camargos, Natalia Madalena Rinaldi


Background: The aging process causes physiological changes on psychic and functional aspects. In this sense, there is a decline in functional capacities such as strength, balance, proprioception and flexibility, caused by neuromuscular impairment. Aim: This study aimed to analyze the effect of Pilates practice on postural balance in older adults. Methods: The study included 34 elderly (25 female and 9 male) distributed into two groups: Practitioners and Control (non-Pilates practitioners). At first, a socio-demographic questionnaire was performed to characterize the sample. Following, the variables analyzed were the items and scores obtained in the BESTest sections, and the scores of the Mini-Mental and Baecke questionnaires (adapted version for older adults). Results: No statistical differences were found between Pilates and Non-Pilates groups for the following items: age, falls, height, body mass, BMI, Mini-Mental and Baecke. However, there was a statistical difference for BESTest, the Pilates group presented a higher overall score when compared to control group, representing a superior difference of 14.68%. Conclusion: We concluded that Pilates practice seems to promote benefits in dynamic balance in the elderly and can be an important tool to minimize the risk of falls.

Keywords: balance, aging, older adults, Pilates.

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