Dr Skelton, currently a Reader in Ageing and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University, studied the effects of four weeks training using BalanceMaster™ on strength, power, balance and functional ability in community dwelling men and women, aged 65 and over. Results were positive but the author suggests that these results should be interpreted with care as a trial was not randomised and as such the training group consisted mainly of patients with poorer confidence in their balance.
Dr Skelton has extensively studied the effects of different forms of physical activity on balance and functionality ability, and found use of the BalanceMaster™ resulted in significant increases in patient’s functional capacity when used regularly. “This piece of equipment can be used very effectively to increase hip and lower limb muscle strength. It is also acceptable for the frailer older people who are fearful of activities that they perceive might increase their risk of falls (eg, Group exercise sessions and walking). The handrails and progressive nature of training on the BalanceMaster™ mean that even the most unconfident or those that can only stand for a few minutes at a time will benefit from training on the BalanceMaster™”. Muscle strength contributes to joint stabilisation, improving balance and preventing soft tissue injuries commonly seen in elderly individuals.