Aerobic Capacity of Elderly Women Engaged in Controlled Physical Activity

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Rubens Cesar Lucena da Cunha, Márcia de Assuncao Ferreira, Jane Cleria Pereira Bezerra, Ialuska Guerra, Estelio Henrique Martin Dantas

The objective of this study was to evaluate the aerobic capacity of elderly participants in the family health pro-gram at Health Municipal Secretary, who were submitted to a regular program of physical exercise. This experimen-tal study had a sample size of 98 hypertensive elderly women. The sample was divided randomly into an experimen-tal group (EG; n=58, age: 67±6 years) and a control group (CG; n=40; age: 70±6 years). Aerobic capacity was evalu-ated by a six-minute walking test (WT6). The intervention program was conducted three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), between 17:00 and 17:45 hours, with an intensity that varied from 55% to 75% of the theoretical maximum heart rate. Student’s paired t-tests or Wilcoxon tests were utilised in the intra-group analysis (for homogenous or heterogeneous distributions of the data, respectively). An ANOVA two-way parametric test was used to evaluate the inter-group data followed by the Scheffe post hoc test. A value of p<0.05 was adopted for statis-tical significance. The results revealed an increase in distance travelled in the EG in the post-test relative to the pre-test (∆= 70.58 m; p<0.0001) and relative to the CG post-test (∆= 116.58 m; p<0.0001). Furthermore, the CG trav-elled less distance in the post-test than in the pre-test (∆= -0.78 m; p=0.003). Therefore, we infer that a walking regimen of controlled intensity improves the distance travelled by elderly women in the WT6 by increasing their aerobic capacity.
DOI 10.2478/v10078-010-0008-3
Key words
physical exercise, aerobic capacity, six-minute walking test (WT6), elderly women

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