Stand if you can – A randomized controlled trial to improve gait speed

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University of New Brunswick


Exercise is proven to maintain and improve physical function among older adults, which can be evaluated by gait speed. This study aimed to explore gait speed outcomes of older adults in long-term care who participated in a standing trial. Participants were randomized to control or intervention groups. The exercise intervention offered 20 minutes of daily standing for 22 weeks. The control group were exposed to equal social interaction. Ten metre gait speed performance was measured using a stopwatch. Leg strength was captured via a handle dynamometer and compared between groups using a generalized linear mixed model. Fifty participants completed the intervention, averaging 41.9 ± 30.3 minutes of standing/week. The standing intervention did not yield significant differences among gait speed and leg strength outcomes between groups, with a group average of 41 minutes of participation. Further exploration may help understand the importance of gait speed improvement among older adults.