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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Ground Kayak Paddling Exercise Improves Postural Balance, Muscle Performance, and Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Wonjae Choi, Seungwon Lee

Department of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School of Sahmyook University, Seoul, South Korea

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR3909-3915

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.908248

Available online: 2018-06-10

Published: 2018-06-10


BACKGROUND: Kayaking is an interesting and posturally challenging activity; however, kayaking may be limited by safety issues in older adults. The aim of this study was to determine whether ground kayak paddling (GKP) exercise can improve postural balance, muscle performance, and cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty participants were randomly allocated to a GKP group (n=30; mean age, 74 years) or a control group (n=30; mean age, 74 years). GKP exercise consisted 5 types of exercise protocols, including paddling and multi-directional reaching with repetitive trunk and upper-extremities movements, which was performed for 60 min twice a week for 6 weeks. The outcome measures included the Timed Up and Go Test, the Functional Reach Test, the Berg Balance Scale, the Arm Curl Test, handgrip strength, and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
RESULTS: In this study, adherence to the regimen was 96% in the GKP group. Postural balance, muscle performance, and cognitive function were significantly improved after intervention (p<0.05), and all the values in the GKP group, except for the Berg Balance Scale scores, were significantly decreased or increased compared to the control group. Differences between the 2 groups were Timed Up and Go Test –0.74 s; Functional Reach Test +7.20 cm; Arm Curl Test +5.56 repetitions; right handgrip strength +3.57 kg; left handgrip strength +3.08 kg; and Montreal Cognitive Assessment, +3.46 score (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: GKP exercise improves the physical and psychological ability of older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Keywords: Cognition, Exercise, Frail Elderly, muscle strength, postural balance