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Background and objective: Presently, “nine-square exercise” is popular among community-dwellers in Thailand. However, evidences in the benefits of nine-square exercise on balance in older persons remained unclear. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of nine-square exercise on balance in the elderly with falls risk.
Methods: Thirty-four older persons (mean age 63.8±2.0 years) were divided into experimental and control groups (17 of each). The experimental group was assigned to practice nine-square exercise for 3 days/week, 30 minutes/day for a total of 5 weeks, while the control group attended health education classes at weeks 2 and 4 of the study. At pre- and post-study, all participants were evaluated for dynamic and static balance by using the Timed Up and Go Test (TUGT) and the One Leg Stance Test (OLST), respectively. Data were analyzed by using the T-tests.
Results: At the end of the study, the experimental group significantly improved their balance (p<0.05). When compared between groups, the experimental group showed significantly less time taken to complete the TUGT than did the control group (p<0.001). No statistically significant difference between groups was found in the OLST (p>0.10).
Conclusions: Nine-square exercise could improve dynamic balance in the elderly with falls risk. Therefore, this exercise is possibly an alternative exercise regimen for improving balance in community-dwelling older persons.
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