1Su Jeong Jungang Senior Welfare Center 2을지대학교 3삼성서울병원 4을지대학교
PURPOSE: This study examined the effects of Nordic walking on depression and the physical function of elderly patients with a high risk of depression.
METHODS: This study was a blinded randomized allocation study; 32 elderly were assigned to a Nordic walking group (n = 17), consisting of 60 min Nordic walking (including warming up 5 min, warming down 5 min, and Nordic walking 50 min) two days per week for 12 weeks and general leisure group (n = 15), consisting of 60 min leisure program community center. The pre and post 12-week program, depression test, muscle strength (including grip test, and 30sec sit to stand), and balance (including Functional Reach test, and One Leg Standing test) were measured. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare within the group, and a Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare between the groups.
RESULTS: After 12 weeks, only the Nordic walking group showed significant improvement in depression, muscle strength, and balance (p < .05). In the general leisure group, however, the left grip strength and Functional Reach Test (FRT) showed a significant decrease. The Nordic walking program was better than the general leisure group, and a significant difference was observed in depression, muscle strength, and balance between the two groups (p < .05).
CONCLUSION: Nordic walking was effective for the elderly with a high risk of depression. Therefore, Nordic walking may be an option for preventing elderly mental disorders and functional improvement.