Health benefits of aerobic training programs in adults aged 70 and over: a systematic review

Walid Bouaziz, Thomas Vogel, Elise Schmitt, Georges Kaltenbach, Bernard Geny, Pierre Olivier Lang
  • Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, March 2017, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2016.10.012

Health benefits of aerobic training programs in adults aged 70 and over

What is it about?

Aging is intrinsically associated with a progressive decline in muscle strength and mass, and aerobic capacity. This contributes to reduced mobility and impaired quality of life (QoL) among seniors. Regular physical activity, and more particularly aerobic training (AT), has demonstrated benefits on adults’ health. The aim of this review was to assess the current level of evidence regarding the health benefits of AT in the population aged 70 years and over.

Why is it important?

Studies selected were divided into 5 categories according to their main outcomes: cardiovascular function (34 studies), metabolic outcomes (26 studies), functional fitness (19 studies), cognitive functions (8 studies), and QoL (3 studies). With a good level of evidence but a wide heterogeneity between study designs, a significant and beneficial effect of AT was measured on the 5 outcomes. For QoL results showed a significant but slighter improvement. This systematic review highlights the benefits of AT on seniors’ health outcome such as cardiovascular, functional, metabolic, cognitive, and QoL outcomes although the optimal program remains unclear.

Perspectives

Dr Walid Bouaziz (Author)
Geriatric Department, University Hospital, Strasbourg

When more studies regarding this specific population are needed to determine the most favourable exercise program, clinicians should nevertheless encourage older adults over 70 to participate in AT programs to favour active and healthy ageing.

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Walid Bouaziz