Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 8 weeks aquatic exercise on the gait stability of the elderly using dynamic factors: center of mass (COM), velocity of center of mass (COMV), and center of pressure (COP).
Subjects: Eleven elderly participants (age: 77.18 ± 4.96 yrs, height: 149.48 ± 3.61 cm, body mass: 56.94 ± 6.62 kg, and leg length: 82.36 ± 2.98 cm), participated in this study. [Methods] To identify the 8-week aquatic training effect, 3-D motion analysis with 7 infrared cameras and one force plate, was performed.
Results: For the COM-COP inclination angles, significantly decreased medial inclination angles were shown in both the posterior and anterior swing phases. For the COMV-COP inclination angles, decreased medial inclination angles were shown in both the posterior and anterior swing phases, but significant difference was found only in the posterior phase.
Conclusion: The results suggest that 8 weeks aquatic exercise is effective at improving the gait stability of the elderly. Further studies should extend the training period to gain statistically significant results for the effect of aquatic exercise in the anterior-posterior direction.