Content » Vol 50, Issue 6

Original report

Effect of a balance-training programme on postural balance, aerobic capacity and frequency of falls in women with osteoporosis: A randomized controlled trial

Ibolya Miko, Imre Szerb, Anna Szerb, Tamas Bender, Gyula Poor
Rheumatology and physiotherapy, National Institute of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy, 1023 Budapest, Hungary. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2349


Objective: To investigate the effect of a 12-month complex balance-training programme on static and dynamic postural balance, aerobic capacity and frequency of falls in women with established osteoporosis.
Design: Randomized controlled trial in which the intervention group was assigned a 12-month exercise programme (3 times a week for 30 min) and the control group had no intervention.
Subjects: A total of 100 osteoporotic women with at least one previous fracture.
Methods: Performance-based Timed Up and Go (TUG), Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and stabilometric platform tests were used to evaluate balance. Aerobic capacity was measured by bicycle ergometry. Frequency of falls was assessed using a falls diary.
Results: After 1 year, there was a statistically significant difference between the improvement achieved in the intervention and control groups on the performance-based TUG, BBS and stabilometric platform tests (p < 0. 05). Mean metabolic equivalent (MET) value decreased in the intervention group, from 4. 91 to 3. 82 (a significant difference from the change achieved in the control group; p = 0. 05). Relative risk of falls was 0. 534 at 1 year (p = 0. 17).
Conclusion: The 12-month balance-training programme significantly improved postural balance and increased aerobic capacity in women with established osteoporosis.

Lay Abstract

Loss of balance and falling are serious risk factors for patients with osteoporosis. Falls often result in fractures that require medical attention and may even be fatal. In addition to pharmacological therapy, there is clinical evidence to support the importance of exercise to prevent falls and improve balance. The effect of a 1-year complex balance-training programme, combining exercises to improve postural balance with aerobic elements, was studied in female patients with established osteoporosis. The women in the exercise group improved their postural control and balance, increased their aerobic capacity, and had fewer falls than those who did not undertake the exercise programme.


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