Effects of Balance Control and Functional Activities During Gym Ball Exercises in Elderly People

노인의 공 운동치료가 균형과 기능적인 활동에 미치는 효과

  • Hwang, Su-Jin (Dept. of Physical Therapy, The Love House Nursing Home) ;
  • Lee, Su-Young (Dept. of Rehabilitation Therapy, The Graduate School, Yonsei University)
  • 황수진 (사랑의 집 물리치료실) ;
  • 이수영 (연세대학교 대학원 재활학과)
  • Published : 2004.09.17


The use of a gym ball is becoming more popular for dynamic balance exercises. However, little is known about the effects of the dynamic ball exercises in the elderly. The purpose of this study was to compare balance and functional mobility after dynamic balance exercises using a gym ball to reduce the risk factorfor falls. All of the 15 subjects were women between the ages of 68 and 91 (mean age=79.9 yrs, SD=5.87) at anursing home in Wonju. Seven of fifteen subjects were placed in the experimental group and the others in the control group. Three clinical tests were used to determine the degree of balance and functional mobility before beginning the exercise program, after 4 weeks of gym ball exercise, and after 8 weeks of gym ball exercise. These three tests included Timed Up & Go (TUG), Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Dynamic ball exercises training for 8 weeks (5 days per week) included side stretching, prone walking, bridging, marching and opposite arm and leg lifting. There were significant differences found before the gym ball exercise program began and after 4 weeks and then 8 weeks in the experimental group (p<.05). Significant differences between the groups were shown for TUG and BBS (p<.05). No significant difference was noted between the groups for FIM. Therefore, gym ball exercises can improve dynamic balance and may be recommended to include in a therapeutic program to help the elderly reduce their risk of a fall.