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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine 1/2018

Effects of low-intensity bodyweight training with slow movement on motor function in frail elderly patients: a prospective observational study

Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2018
Kanae Kanda, Takeshi Yoda, Hiromi Suzuki, Yugo Okabe, Yutaka Mori, Kunihisa Yamasaki, Hiroko Kitano, Aya Kanda, Tomohiro Hirao



Slow-motion training, an exercise marked by extremely slow movements, yields a training effect like that of a highly intense training, even when the applied load is small. This study evaluated the effects of low-intensity bodyweight training with slow movement on motor function in frail, elderly patients.


Ninety-seven elderly men and women aged 65 years or older, whose level of nursing care was classified as either support required (1 and 2) or long-term care required (care level 1 and 2), volunteered to participate. Two facilities were used. Participants in the first facility used low-intensity bodyweight training with slow movement (the LST group, n = 65), and participants in another facility used machine training (the control group, n = 31). Exercises were conducted for 3 months, once or twice a week, depending on the required level of nursing care. Changes in motor function were examined.


Post-exercise measurements showed significant improvements from the pre-exercise levels after 3 months, based on the results of the Timed Up and Go test (p = 0.0263) and chair-stand test (p = 0.0016) in the low-intensity exercise with slow movement and tonic force generation (LST) group. Although the ability to stand on one leg with eyes open tended to improve, no significant change was found (p = 0.0964).


We confirmed that carrying out LST bodyweight training for 3 months led to improvements in ambulatory function and lower-limb muscle strength. In this way, it is possible that LST training performed by holding a bar or by staying seated on a chair contributes to improved motor function in elderly patients within a short time.

Trial registration

UMIN000030853. Registered 17 January 2018. (retrospectively registered).

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