Changes in Flexed Posture, Musculoskeletal Impairments, and Physical Performance After Group Exercise in Community-Dwelling Older Women

Wendy B. Katzman, Deborah E. Sellmeyer, Anita L. Stewart, Linda Wanek, Kate A. Hamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Katzman WB, Sellmeyer DE, Stewart AL, Wanek L, Hamel KA. Changes in flexed posture, musculoskeletal impairments, and physical performance after group exercise in community-dwelling older women. Objective: To determine whether improvements in flexed posture, strength, range of motion (ROM), and physical performance would be observed after 12 weeks of group exercise in older women who because of age are prone to flexed posture and impaired physical function. Design: Pretest-posttest of outcome measures. Setting: Outpatient academic medical center. Participants: Twenty-one women with thoracic kyphosis of 50° or greater. Intervention: Multidimensional group exercise performed 2 times a week for 12 weeks. Main Outcome Measures: Primary dependent measures of flexed posture included kyphosis, forward head, and height. Other dependent measures included spinal extensor muscle strength; shoulder, hip, and knee ROM; balance; modified Physical Performance Test (PPT); jug test; and gait speed. Results: Baseline kyphosis was 57°±5.0°, and age was 72.0±4.2 years. There were significant improvements in usual (-6°±3°) and best kyphosis (-5°±3°) (P<.001), spinal extensor muscle strength (21%±13% of peak torque/body weight, P<.001), popliteal angle (right, 7°±7°; left, 9°±10°; P<.001), modified PPT (2±2 points, P<.001), and jug test (-1.4±1.3s, P<.001). Age and modified PPT at baseline correlated with change in kyphosis (r=0.5, P=.02; r=.42, P=.055, respectively). Conclusions: Multidimensional group exercise reduced measured kyphosis and improved strength, ROM, and physical performance. This study provides a promising exercise intervention that may improve posture and physical performance in older women with flexed posture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007



  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Kyphosis
  • Posture
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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