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SIX MINUTE WALK TEST AS A VALUABLE ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR EXERCISE CAPACITY IN HEALTHY KIBBUTZ ELDERLY

B. Narotzki, A.Z. Reznick, D. Navot-Mintzer, B. Dagan, Y. Levy

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2012;1(1):61-63

Objective: To study six minute walk test sensitivity in monitoring exercise effects on healthy kibbutz elderly. Design and participants: Interventional trial conducted at two north eastern Israeli kibbutz communities involving 11 healthy men and 13 healthy women aged 61 and older. Methods: Exercise protocol included 30 min of moderate daily walks for 12 weeks. Six minute walk test was performed according to American Thoracic Society guidelines at baseline and after 12 weeks. Results: Six minute walk distance improved by 10.3% (p < 0.001). Participants BMI decreased significantly in men and in a greater extent in women (-0.5 and -1.2 Kg/m2, respectively, p < 0.05). Waist circumference also decreased less in men then women (3.4 and 6.3 cm, p < 0.01, respectively). Integration of baseline and end data showed significant correlations between six minute walk test results and height (positive, r=0.34, p <0.05), BMI, waist and hips circumferences (negative, r = -0.43, r = -0.43 r = -0.29, respectively, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Six minute walk test was able to demonstrate the efficacy of 12 weeks of exercise in elderly healthy kibbutz citizens. Exercise was sufficient to induce a promising decrease in body weight and circumferences.

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