Many older adults who break a hip contend with physical limitations even after rehabilitation. According to researchers led by Nancy K. Latham, PhD, PT, of Boston University in Massachusetts, a home-based exercise program may offer a way to reduce those limitations and improve strength and mobility.

Latham’s study included 232 older adults who had completed rehabilitation following a hip fracture. A physical therapist taught about half of the group “functionally oriented” exercises. Subjects were then tasked with completing the exercises—which included moves like sit-to-stand and climbing a step—without supervision. Remaining participants did not perform any of the movements; however, they did receive in-home and phone-based “cardiovascular nutrition education.”

“Among the 232 randomized patients, 195 were followed up at 6 months and included in the primary analysis,” said the authors. “The intervention group (n = 100) showed significant improvement relative to the control group (n = 95) in functional mobility.”

The report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2014; 311[7], 700–708).

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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