The investigators want to determine if participation in exercise programs will improve walking and thinking abilities in older adults. Two different exercise treatments for walking problems will be compared.
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This Phase II trial will compare two different exercise treatments for walking problems to determine if participation will improve walking and thinking abilities in older adults. The experimental group will participate in a motor skill gait exercise, a task-oriented approach that involves goal-directed stepping and walking patterns to facilitate the use of appropriate muscles at the appropriate times relative to body position during walking. Treadmill-assisted walking in brief intervals of small increased speed walking interspersed with usual walking speed are performed to induce the automatic rhythm and timing of gait.
The comparison group will participate in an aerobic gait intervention approach, which involves treadmill and overground walking, with gradual increases in the distance walked and speed of walking. The exercise approach provides walking practice, including on the treadmill, to facilitate the timing of stepping during gait, while also facilitating a fitness or conditioning response and endurance for walking activities.
In both groups, the exercise sessions last about 60 minutes, two or three times a week for 12 weeks, for a total of 30 to 36 sessions.
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Geolocation is 40.4424402, -79.9531948
University of Pittsburgh
National Institute on Aging
Jessie M. VanSwearingen, PhD, PT
University of Pittsburgh, Department of Physical Therapy