Ventilatory Function Response to Upper Versus Lower Limbs Aerobic Training in Elderly Men


The Department of Physical Therapy for Cardiovascular, Respiratory Disorders and Geriatrics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University* and Internal Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University**


Abstract Background: Ventilatory function and aerobic capacity each decline by ~40%, with aging leading to ventilatory limitation, dyspnea, exercise intolerance, which affected by performance of upper and lower limbs, so it is important in the elderly to use aerobic training to improve ventilatory function, by training upper limbs as well as lower limbs which not investigated previously. Aim of Study: To compare between the impact of upper versus lower limbs training on ventilatory function in elderly men. Material and Methods: Eligible 40 elderly men their age ranged from (60-65) years old, body mass index (BMI) ranged from 25 to 34.9kg/m2 participants were recruited from the Outpatient Clinic of Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Egypt. Patients were divided into two groups equal in number; the group (A) performed upper limbs training by arm ergometer, while the group (B) performed lower limbs training by cycle ergometer for three times per a week for 12 weeks. Ventilatory function included (Forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), and FEV1/FVC ratio) were evaluated pre and post intervention for 12 weeks (36 sessions). Results: After 12 weeks of intervention, both groups demonstrated significant increase of FEV 1 and FVC (p < 0.05), by contrast there was no significant difference was observed in the mean of FEV1/FVC ratio between pre and post-intervention (p>0.05) in both groups. Conclusion: The results demonstrated that moderate intensity aerobic exercise using both arm ergometer and cycle ergometer has equally effect on improvement of the ventilatory function of elderly we recommended aerobic training of upper limbs as an integral intervention in pulmonary rehabilitation program of elderly subjects.