Thursday, 21 August 2003
This presentation is part of : Interface of Medicine and Psychiatry

S096-004 Physical Activity and the Quality of Life in Older Patients

Floarea G. Revnic, Biology of Aging, N.I.G.G."Ana Aslan", Bucharest, Romania, Cristian Romeo Revnic, Faculty of General Medicine, U.M.F."Carol Davila", Bucharest, Romania, Nicolae G. Teleki, rehabilitation Clinique, Nattional Institute of Physical Medicine&Rehabilitation, Bucharest, Romania, and Simion Alexandru Revnic, Internal Medicine & Rehabilitation, Mogostesti Hospital, Bucharest, Romania.

Objective: Low energy and poor sleep are common simptoms associated with depression in the elderly. The aim of our study was to evaluate the efficiency of a moderate level of physical training program on physical and mental health in older patients; i.e. aleviation of negative mood states like anxiety and depression and on quality of sleep. Another objective of our study was related to the effect of physical training on neurohormonal axis and on skeletal and cardiac muscle physiology.

Design: 16 weeks of a moderate level physical training program(50 minutes/day) applied 5 times/week on 42 elderly patients.

Material and method: Patient selection: 42 patients selected from a rehabilitation clinic admitted for osteoarticular and postraumatic pathologies, aged between 62-74 years, have been divided into two groups of 21 patients each: group A active controls and group B 21 sedentary, obese and depressed patients with sleep disorders. 50 minutes physical training program, applied 5 times/week for 16 weeks, consisted of aerobic and anaerobic 4kg weight lifting in supine position; 2 minutes exercise at ergometic bycicle combined with a series of movements for training skeletal muscle groups. The motor units training has been performed with a EMG Schvartzer-Picker 2000 during and after training. Cardiocirculatory parameters (heart rate, blood pressure and EKG) have been evaluated before and after training. Stress hormones HGH and cortisol and testosterone have been estimated with DELFIA Research Spectrometer 1234. Evaluation of depression scores before and after training has been done with GDS and BDI

Results: Our data have pointed out positive effects of physical training on depression scores,increasing the need for nightime sleep facilitating recuperative, restorative energy conservation processes. The improvement in mood state following training is associated with the increase in HGH, testosterone and the decrease in cortisol secretion. The ability to perform movements with a better neuromuscular coordination improves the self confidence and the ability of self support.

Conclusion: There is a general positive effect of physical exercise upon physical as well as mental health variables, relieving the symptoms of depression and anxiety being associated with a positive self esteem with a restfull sleep. It promotes wellness and mental health, contributing to the increase in quality of life and in life expectancy.

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