Agility testing for fall prevention in seniors: validity of a novel test course

Publikationen: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/KonferenzbandKonferenzbeitrag - Abstract in KonferenzbandForschungBegutachtung


  • Eric Lichtenstein
  • Aline Zubler
  • Oliver Faude
  • Timo Hinrichs
  • Lars Donath



Introduction:Fall prevention requires a successful combination between perception, cognitive function, neuromuscular performance and cardiovascular capacity. These aspects have been mainly tackled separately within exercise-based fall prevention studies (Donath, van Dieën & Faude, 2016). Functional and integrative training approaches are scarce. Thus, the present validity study examined an “agility challenge for the elderly” (ACE) course compared to traditional fall risk parameters for future testing and training purposes.Methods:Healthy seniors without clinical conditions (69.0 ± 2.8 y; 25.4 ± 3.5 kg/m2; 19 m/17 f; 4.7 ± 3.8 h PA/week) were repeatedly tested on two separate days one week apart. All participants completed four trials of the novel ACE-course following a standardized warm-up procedure. A 6-minute walk test was also performed to assess cardiovascular capacity. Traditional lab-based assessment of fall risk parameters was conducted on a separate day and included static, dynamic and perturbed standing balance tasks, rate of force development of the lower extremities and trunk as well as spatiotemporal gait analysis under various conditions. The ACE-course consists of three sections focusing on different agility aspects (1. stop-and-go; 2. cutting maneuvers; 3. spatial orientation). Stepwise linear regression analyses were computed in order to assess the amount of variance of the ACE-test (serving as dependent variable) explained by the lab-based fall risk parameters (serving as predictive factors).Results:
Men completed the course in 43.6 ± 5.9 s and women in 52.4 ± 3.9 s. Apart from sex, the overall course time was mostly explained by 6-minute walking test time (R2=0.24; p=0.00), followed by gait speed during gait analysis (R2=0.23; p=0.00) and y-balance composite score (R2=0.04; p=0.12). Separately analysed split time was also mostly explained be the first two variables. Static balance likely influenced the time in the stop-and-go section (R2=0.04; p=0.12) that took the participants 6.9 ± 1.0 s. Trunk rotational (R2=0.05; p=0.08) and plantar flexion (R2=0.04; p=0.11) explosive strength as well as dynamic balance (R2=0.04; p=0.11) likely influenced the time in the cutting maneuvers section which was completed in 14.0 ± 2.3 s. Time in the spatial orientation segment was likely influenced by dynamic balance (R2=0.04; p=0.15) and its duration was 26.8 ± 3.6 s.Discussion/Conclusion:The agility challenge for the elderly successfully integrates cardiorespiratory, neuromuscular performance and balance. Whether cognitive function affects agility needs to be elucidated further. Future testing and training approaches should tackle integrative motor performance in the elderly. This aspect is particularly important since neuromuscular adaptions are considered highly task specific and transfer effects to not trained tasks are limited (Kümmel, Kramer, Giboin & Gruber, 2016). Thus, function and integrative training and testing approaches might better reflect motor requirement during situations involving high fall risk.
Titel9th SGS/4S Annual Meeting : Conference Abstracts
Herausgeber/inSportwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft der Schweiz
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 02.2017
VeranstaltungJahrestagung der Sportwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft der Schweiz (SGS) - Zürich, Schweiz
Dauer: 09.02.201710.02.2017
Konferenznummer: 9

ID: 3408250

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