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Article Title

CAN 4-WEEKS OF BACKWARD EXERCISE STRATEGY EFFECT MOBILITY AND GAIT OUTCOMES IN THE AGING? - A DESCRIPTIVE CASE SERIES

Abstract

Mia Colucci1, Kylee West1, Jacob Smith2, Savannah Lyons1, Nick J. Siekirk1. 1Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA. 2University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.

Albeit limited, emerging evidence has supported the using of backwards walking. However, whether the intervention can be mimicked by recumbent exercise is less known. We aimed to describe longitudinal changes in mobility and gait outcomes using a seated NuStep cross trainer (NCT) and treadmill (TM) in aging participants. METHODS: Four older adults (2M/2F; 72 ± 3 yrs; 26.8 ± 2.3 kg/m2; Means ± SD) participated in a supervised 4-week (2x per week) exercise program utilizing a backward exercise strategy. Participants were randomized to either NCT or TM. Gait outcomes were obtained with the GAITRite system. Mobility was assessed with the 6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT) and Timed Up and Go (TUG). The initial exercise pace was guided by the participant’s rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and progressed 5-10% each week as tolerated. Targeted and externally focused verbal instructions were utilized to optimize the transfer to gait. RESULTS: All participants completed the 4-week intervention without complication. Regardless of modality, time (seconds) to complete TUG did not seem to change across all participants (∆M = 0.02 seconds, SD = 1.42 seconds). 6MWT distances improved in all participants (M = 57.74 m, SD = 55.16 m). NCT improved 6MWT (M = 67.55m, SD = 80.26). TM improved 6MWT (M = 47.93, SD = 47.98). FW gait velocity slightly increased in NCT participants (M = 6.73 cm/s, SD = 11.34 cm/s), but seemed unchanged in TM participants (M = -3.85 cm/s, SD = 12.45 cm/s). NCT saw changes in FW Swing% (Left: M = 0.50%, SD = 1.56%; Right: M = 1.23%, SD = 1.10%) and Stance% (Left: M = -0.55%, SD = 1.56%; Right: M = -1.20%, SD = 1.06%). TM saw minimal changes in FW Swing% (Left: M = -2.15%, SD = 0.42%; Right: M = -0.48%, Std = 0.74%) and Stance% (Left: M = 1.47%, SD = 0.43%; Right: M = 0.83%, SD = 1.03%). BW gait velocity increased in the NCT group (M = 13.25 cm/s, SD = 13.08 cm/s) but remained unchanged in TM participants (M = -1.10 cm/s, SD = 1.27 cm/s). NCT saw changes in BW Swing% (Left: M = 1.13%, SD = 0.11%; Right: M = -1.48%, SD = 0.25%) and Stance% (Left: M = -1.05%, SD = 0.07%; Right: M = -1.53%, SD = 1.45%). However, BW Swing% (Left: M = 0.02%, Std = 0.54%; Right: M = -1.48%, SD = 0.25%) and Stance% (Left: M = 0.53%, SD = 0.88%; Right: M = 0.83%, SD = 0.93%) remained unchanged in TM. CONCLUSION: These findings provide preliminary support for the longitudinal use of recumbent NCT exercise for gait retraining.

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