Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal
Volume 30, Number 1
TITLE: Physical Fitness of the Elderly People from Home for the Aged (Hninzigone), Yangon
AUTHOR: Khin Mi Mi Lay*, Nway Htike Maw, Pyae Phyo Kyaw, Sandar Win, Khin San Lwin, Htet Htet Lwin, Yi Yi Mon, Lei Lei Win Hlaing & Theingi Thwin
SOURCE: Myanmar Health Sciences Research Journal, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2018
ABSTRACT: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted to assess physical fitness in 145 elderly; 52 men (mean age=81.23±6.36 years) and 93 women (mean age=79.03±5.27 years), from the Home for the Aged (Hninzigone), Yangon by using the Senior Fitness Test. The test consists of six measures of physical fitness: (a) 30-second chair stand test, (b) 30-second arm curl test, (c) chair sit and reach test, (d) back scratch test, (e) 8-foot up and go test and (f) 2-minute step test. Most of elderly women had higher BMI (23.19±6.46 kg/m2 vs. 22.98±4.24 kg/m2, p=0.83) and significantly higher body fat percent (24.23±7.6% vs. 20.11±6.46%, p=0.001) than those of elderly men. Higher BMI of elderly women might be due to more body fat than elderly men. All the elderly had completed the six fitness tests. Elderly men had better performance in chair stand test (strength test) and 2-minute step test (aerobic endurance test) but elderly women had better performance in 8-foot up and go test (dynamic balance). This might be due to the fact that elderly men had more lean body mass than women. Scores from each test were compared to Americans’ norms by subject’s age and gender and described as performance better than the norm, same as the norm, or worse than the norm. Generally, better performance were seen in strength tests (chair stand and arm curl) than cardiovascular tests (2-minute step and 8-foot up and go) or flexibility tests (chair sit and reach and back scratch). The low scores of cardiovascular tests may be attributed to the fact that those types of exercise are not very common in the daily activity of elderly in Myanmar. However, the good result of chair sit and reach test is an essential part of their daily physical activity. In conclusion, this study found that there was a decrease in body fat percent and decrease levels of dynamic balance and flexibility in the aging process.
SUBJECT HEADINGS: Physical fitness, Elderly, Senior Fitness Test Battery