The impact of physical training on locomotor function in older people

Omar S Mian, Vasilios Baltzopoulos, Alberto E Minetti, Marco V Narici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Locomotor function declines in old age. Based on 55 studies, this review appraises current evidence on the impact of physical training interventions on locomotor function in older people. Overall, the literature indicates that physical training can have a beneficial impact on locomotor function in older people. This also holds true in various sub-populations including those who are very old, those who have functional limitations and those with chronic health problems. Improvements in locomotor function can be seen within 4-6 weeks of physical training, although the potential that improvements may appear earlier has not been investigated. Recent studies provide evidence of a dose-response relationship between intensity of strength training and improvement in locomotor function in older people. However, whether such a relationship exists for other training modes has not yet been investigated. Based on current evidence, the optimal training modes or combination of training modes (strength, aerobic, balance, coordination, etc.) and the optimal frequency of training for improvement in locomotor function are unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-701
Number of pages19
JournalSports Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Locomotion
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Postural Balance

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