Dr. Rogan Slavko
Bern University of Applied Sciences (BUAS), Switzerland
|Title: Physical activity in elderly population – the best drug*|
Physical activity can promote and maintain health as well as extend years of independent living in later life. Therefore, physical activity may be considered a highly effective drug. It is an accepted truth, that ageing is associated with the decline of physical functional capacity such as balance, cardiopulmonary endurance, flexibility, muscular strength and muscular endurance. Consequently, training programs should aim to improve or maintain physical performance level and health status. The World Health Organization and the American College of Sports Medicine have recommended guidelines on Physical Activity and Public Health.
Before prescribing exercise regimes to elderly individuals, two factors should be considered. Firstly, the human body has two types of ages: the chronological age and the biological age. The chronological age describes the age based on the calendar date. The biological age describes the current state of the physical and mental function of the individual. Since chronological age is not adequate in determining physical function level, emphasis must be placed on biological age. Secondly, elderly individuals may prefer to abstain from physical activity due various reasons including time constraints, limited interest, or they may find exercise too vigorous.
Therefore, the following aspects should be taken into account when initiating or maintaining an individual exercise program:
1) Assessment of current physical functional level.
2) Assessment of structures including muscles that cause certain conditions.
3) Evaluation of motivational aspects.
Due to the various forms of physical and mental functions of biological age, individuals should be classified into three categories: independent person (Go-Go), needy person with slight handicap (Slow-Go) and person in need of care with severe functional limitation (No-Go).
Program implementation breakdown is as follows: movement therapy and exercise in the No-Go group (especially elderly individuals with mobility disability) should be designed so that they be performed within a short time frame. Movement therapy and exercise regimes should include specific components of balance, strength and cognition. Slow-Go and Go-Go elderly individuals may participate in traditional training regimes, in contrast to No-Go elderly individuals who have limited physical functional capacity, among other issues.
This presentation illustrates how to classify, train and motivate the elderly individual.
Keywords: ageing, exercise,motivation
Slavko Rogan (Dr, MSc PT, MA adult education, cand. MSc Osteopathy) is a lecturer and research scientist in the Department of Health at Bern University of Applied Sciences. He graduated with an Bc Physiotherapy 2003, 2007 with an MSc Physiotherapy and 2016 with an PhD from Maastricht University. He has a background in osteopathy, physiotherapy and further adult education. He works in the fields of geriatrics, musculoskeletal disorders and sport science. Slavko's research interests focus on the development of exercise and training programs in elderly persons, investigation of manual therapy effectiveness and sensorimotor training and in the field of education he focusses on mentoring and (attended) self-study.