Rebecca M Sealey, Susanna B Tope
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Vol. 18, Iss. 8, 03 Aug 2011, pp 438 - 449

Background: Vietnam war veterans report a high incidence of chronic diseases. Clinicians should prescribe exercise programmes to improve their health that the patients are likely to follow. This study compared the adherence rate to and the health and functional changes resulting from various 12-week exercise interventions on Vietnam war veterans.
Methods: Thirty-one participants (aged 62±6 years; body mass index 33±4 kg/m2 were divided into three groups which performed: 1) stretching, lower-body vibration and upper-body resistance training; or 2) stretching, lower-body vibration, upper-body resistance and aerobic training; or 3) stretching, upper- and lower-body resistance and aerobic training. Measures taken before and after interventions included cardiorespiratory health, body composition, strength, flexibility and functional capacity. Paired t-tests and ANOVAs were used to analyze the data within and between groups.
Findings: Eighty-two per cent of participants completed the programme, with an average attendance of 80%. Significant main effect improvements in all participants were evident for the six-minute walk (F(1,28)=77.167, P<0.001), static squat (F(1,28)=18.854, P<0.001), timed up-and-go (F(1,28)=26.252, P<0.001), sit and reach (F(1,28)=9.842, P=0.004), leg strength (F(1,28)=7.121, P=0.013), resting heart rate (F(1,28)=11.623, P=0.002), resting systolic (F(1,28)=8.524, P=0.007) and diastolic (F(1,28)=
-4.348, P=0.046) blood pressures, waist girth (F(1,28)=38.917, P<0.001), hip girth (F(1,28)=27.473, P<0.001) and body mass (F(1,28)=8.833, P=0.006). Only the static squat test was found to be significantly different between groups (F(2,28)=4.257, P=0.024).
Discussion and conclusion: All exercise protocols improved health and function in Vietnam war veterans. Future research with a larger group is needed to verify these findings.

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