Evaluation of the feasibility, psychosocial effects, influence and perception of elastic band resistance balance training in older adults

Nikki Davis, Andy Pringle, Anthony D Kay, Anthony J Blazevich, D Teskey, Mark Faghy, Minas A Mina

Research output: Contribution to ConferenceAbstractpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Physical activity (PA) interventions improve balance, strength and coordination, positively contributing to independence and quality of life reducing the risk of falls in older adults. However, PA interventions often consider efficacy as the primary outcome measure, whilst failing to integrate older adults into the co-design and co-production to ensure internal validity and improve participant enjoyment, satisfaction and adherence [1]. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop and justify a novel PA intervention using different elastic band exercise techniques attached to the hip or chest to challenge balance using qualitative variables (feedback/opinion and perceptions) to create a practically feasible, accessible and cost-effective intervention specifically designed for older adults to reduce the risk of falls.

METHODS: Twenty-three active participants (age = 66.5 ± 8.3 y, height = 1.6 ± 0.1 m, mass = 83.2 ± 14.9 kg) volunteered for the study. The participants completed 8 exercises (8-12 repetitions) using elastic bands designed to challenge postural stability in two conditions (HIP and CHEST) by providing lateral resistance and instability. Conditions were performed 15 min apart in a randomised counterbalanced order. Heart rate and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured throughout with a semi-structured interview conducted after to investigate the preferences, comfort and difficulty of the exercises performed. Template analysis was conducted to examine participant feedback with two-way repeated measures ANOVAs used for quantitative data with statistical significance set at P < 0.05.

RESULTS: Similar significant increases in heart rate (baseline 83-85 bpm; mid 85-88 bpm; post 88-89 bpm) and RPE (baseline 8-9; mid 10; post 10-11) occurred during the HIP and CHEST conditions. Interviews revealed that participants thought the interventions challenged balance and that they perceived the exercises to be beneficial for stability and balance and confirmed that they thought exercises were suitable for themselves and others. Participants’ also reported a positive experience and confirmed they would perform the exercises again, preferably in a group with the band placed at either the hip or chest region due to individual preference and comfort.

CONCLUSION: Participants reported key preferences contributing to the design of a PA intervention using elastic bands confirming the use of these exercises as a feasible, accessible and appropriate PA intervention set at low-to-moderate intensity for older adults. These qualitative variables will inform intervention design and delivery in future studies with the potential to improve balance and stability in older adults with further research required to confirm its efficacy for altering balance and sway patterns.

[1]. Boulton, E. R., Horne, M., & Todd, C. (2018). Multiple influences on participating in physical activity in older age: Developing a social ecological approach. Health Expectations, 21(1), 239-248.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022
Event 27th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science - FIBES SEVILLA Conference Centre, Seville, Spain
Duration: 31 Aug 20222 Sept 2022


Conference 27th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science
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