Effects of Exercise on Physical Performances among Frail Older Adults: A Review Study


  • Sattha Prakobchai Faculty of Nursing, Suan Dusit University
  • Rungnapa Pongkiatchai Faculty of Nursing, Suan Dusit University
  • Sresuda Wongwiseskul Faculty of Nursing, Suan Dusit University


Frail Older Adults, Physical Performances, Exercise


Frailty is a crucial concept in determining physiological reverses among older adults. Physical frailty can predict the vulnerability for community- dwelling older adults as the functional performance declines. Recently, nurses and health care professionals have implemented the strategies to enhance physical capacity among frail older adults. Even the clinical guidelines of physical activity and exercise recommendations are widely published, older adults still engage in a low level of physical exercise. It is notable that exercise intervention is effective way to prevent frailty. This review indicates that a combination of aerobic, resistance exercise, and multicomponent exercise can improve physical performance such as increase muscle strength, balance, muscle mass, gait speed and prevent falls. Frailty is a reversible condition. Therefore, encouraging older adults to perform physical exercise is needed to maintain physical functioning as well as promote quality of life. Nurses play a significant role in frailty recovering both in hospitals and in aged care facilities.


Download data is not yet available.


Afilalo J., Alexander, K.P., Mack, M.J., Maurer, M.S., Green, P., Allen, L.A., ...Forman, D.E. (2014). Frailty assessment in the cardiovascular care of older adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(8), 747-762. https://doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.09.070

Aguirre, L.E., & Villareal, D.T. (2015). Physical Exercise as Therapy for Frailty. Nestle Nutrition Institute workshop series, 83, 83–92. https://doi.org/10.1159/000382065

Apostolo, J., Cooke, R., Bobrowicz-Campos, E., Santana, S., Marcucci, M., Cano, A., ... Holland, C. (2018). Effectiveness of interventions to prevent pre-frailty and frailty progression in older adults: A systematic review. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, 16(1), 140-232. https://doi: 10.11124/jbisrir-2017-003382

Bray, N.W., Smart, R.R., Jakobi, J.M., & Jones, G.R. (2016). Exercise prescription to reverse frailty. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 41(10), 1112-1116. https://doi:10.1139/apnm-2016-0226

Cadore, E.L., Cadore, E.L., Rodriguez-Manas, L., Sinclair, A., & Izquierdo, M. (2013). Effects of different exercise interventions on risk of falls, gait ability, and balance in physically frail older adults: A systematic review. Rejuvenation Research, 18(2), 105-114. https://doi:10.1089/rej.2012. 1397

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2020). How much physical activity do older adults need? Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/older_adults/index.htm

Chen, C.Y., Gan, P., & How, C.H. (2018). Approach to frailty in the elderly in primary care and the community. Singapore medical journal, 59(5), 240–245. https://doi.org/10.11622/smedj.2018052

Chen, X., Mao, G., & Leng, S.X. (2014). Frailty syndrome: an overview. Clinical interventions in aging, 9, 433–441. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S45300

de Labra, C.D., Guimaraes-Pinheiro, C., Maseda, A., Lorenzo, T., & Millan-Calenti, J.C. (2015). Effects of physical exercise interventions in frail older adults: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. BMC Geriatrics, 15, 154. https://doi:10.1186/s12877-015-0155-4

Dent, E., Kowal, P., & Hoogendijk, E.O. (2016). Frailty measurement in research and clinical practice: A review. European Journal of Internal Medicine, 31, 3-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejim.2016.03.007

Forman, D.E., & Alexander, K.P. (2016). Frailty: A vital sign for older adults with cardiovascular disease. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 32(9), 1082-1087. https://doi:10.1016/j.cjca.2016.05.015

Fried, L.P., Ferrucci, L., Darer, J., Williamson, J.D., & Anderson, G. (2004). Untangling the concepts of disability, frailty, and comorbidity: implications for improved targeting and care. Journals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences, 59(3), 255-263.

Giné-Garriga, M., Roqué-Fíguls, M., Coll-Planas, L., Sitjà- Rabert, M., & Salvà, A. (2014). Physical exercise interventions for improving performance-based measures of physical function in community-dwelling, frail older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95(4), 753-769. https://doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2013.11.007

Hoogendijk, E.O., Rockwood, K., Theou, O., Armstrong, J.J., Onwuteaka-Philipsen, B.D., Deeg, D.J.H., & Huisman, M. (2018). Tracking changes in frailty throughout later life: Results from a 17-year longitudinal study in the Netherlands. Age and Ageing, 47(5), 727-733. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afy081

Kojima, G., Liljas, A., & Iliffe, S. (2019). Frailty syndrome: implications and challenges for health care policy. Risk management and healthcare policy, 12, 23–30. https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S168750

Liu-Ambrose, T., Khan, K.M., Eng, J.J., Janssen, P.A., Lord, S.R., & McKay, H.A. (2004). Resistance and agility training reduce fall risk in women aged 75 to 85 with low bone mass: A 6-month randomized, controlled trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 52(5), 657–665. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52200.x

Liu, C.K., & Fielding, R.A. (2011). Exercise as an intervention for frailty. Clinics in geriatric medicine, 27(1), 101– 110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cger.2010.08.001

Mareschal, J., Achamrah, N., Norman, K., & Genton, L. (2019). Clinical value of muscle mass assessment in clinical conditions associated with malnutrition. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(7), 1040. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8071040

McPhee, J.S., French, D.P., Jackson, D., Nazroo, J., Pendleton, N., & Degens, H. (2016). Physical activity in older age: Perspectives for healthy ageing and frailty. Biogerontology, 17(3), 567–580.

Maxwell, C.A., & Wang, J. (2017). Understanding frailty: A nurse's guide. Nurse Clinics of North America, 52(3), 349-361. https://doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2017.04.003

Pedroli, E., Cipresso, P., Greci, L., Arlati, S., Boilini, L., Stefanelli, L., ... Gaggioli, A. (2019). An immersive motor protocol for frailty rehabilitation. Frontiers in neurology, 10, 1078. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.01078

Pillatt, A.P., Nielsson, J., & Schneider, R.H. (2019). Effects of physical exercise in frail older adults: A systematic review. Fisioter Pesqui, 26(2), 225-232. https://doi:10.1590/1809-2950/18004826022019

Rodriguez-Larrad, A., Arrieta, H., Rezola, C., Kortajarena, M., Yanguas, J.J., Iturburu, M., ... Irazusta, J. (2017). Effectiveness of a multicomponent exercise program in the attenuation of frailty in long-term nursing home residents: study protocol for a randomized clinical controlled trial. BMC geriatrics, 17(1), 60. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-017-0453-0

Santos-Eggimann, B., & Sirven, N. (2016). Screening for frailty: Older populations and older individuals. Public health reviews, 37, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40985-016-0021-8

Shafiee, G., Keshtkar, A., Soltani, A., Ahadi, Z., Larijani, B., & Heshmat, R. (2017). Prevalence of sarcopenia in the world: a systematic review and meta-analysis of general population studies. Journal of diabetes and metabolic disorders, 16, 21. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40200-017-0302-x

Sieber, C.C. (2017). Frailty-from concept to clinical practice. Experimental Gerontology, 87, 160-167. https://doi:10.1016/j.exger.2016.05.004

Vina, J., Salvador-Pascual, A., Tarazona-Santabalbina, F.J., Rodriguez-Manas, L., & Gomez-Cabrera, M.C. (2016). Exercise training as a drug to treat age associated frailty. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 98, 159-164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2016.03.024

World Health Organization (WHO). (2016). WHO Clinical Consortium on Healthy Ageing Topic focus: Frailty and intrinsic capacity. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/ageing/health-systems/first-CCHAmeetingreport.pdf?ua=1




How to Cite

Prakobchai, S., Pongkiatchai, R., & Wongwiseskul, S. (2023). Effects of Exercise on Physical Performances among Frail Older Adults: A Review Study. Journal of Food Health and Bioenvironmental Science, 13(1), 65–70. Retrieved from https://li01.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/sdust/article/view/260546



Review Articles