Introduction: Sarcopenia is a geriatric syndrome that causes age-related changes to muscle mass and function. Lung function is reduced in elderly patients with sarcopenia. We explored whether a mechanically assisted squat exercise improved muscle function and mass and pulmonary function in community-dwelling elderly women with or without sarcopenia.
Methods: Participants were recruited via posters or the websites of regional health centers. In total, 76 community-dwelling elderly subjects (aged >60 years) were screened. We finally included 47 subjects in this prospective study. They were randomly assigned to exercise or non-exercise group as a ratio of 2:1. We measured lung function, knee extensor strength, hand grip strength, and the body composition before and after 6 weeks of mechanically assisted squat exercises (3 days a week, 30 min per day).
Results: Subjects with sarcopenia had poor hand grip strength and knee extensor strength. Their lung function parameters [including vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), and forced vital capacity (FVC)] were lower than those of controls. After 6 weeks of squat exercises, the hand grip strength and knee extensor strength increased significantly in both the sarcopenia and control groups. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass was increased in exercise group only in without sarcopenia group (P=0.013). Leg fat mass was significantly decreased in both sarcopenia and non-sarcopenic group. However, leg lean mass was significantly increased only in non-sarcopenic group after exercise. The FVC (L) and FVC (%) increased significantly only in the sarcopenia group (P=0.019 and P=0.041, respectively), but not in the control group.
Conclusion: Squat exercises improved not only lower extremity functionality, but also upper extremity functionality, including hand grip strength. Muscle mass was significantly increased in without sarcopenia after exercise. The FVC increased in the sarcopenia group. Thus, squat exercises may improve lung function in patients with sarcopenia.
20 - 23 May 2017
European Society of Endocrinology