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Fundamental study of basal physical fitness and activities of daily living for the aged in relation to indoor horse riding exercise


In this study, we assessed indoor horse riding exercise's effects on basal physical exercise and activities of daily living (ADL) function using horse riding equipment, involving elderly test subjects (in their sixties). The participants were 20 people with no impediment to activity. They participated in experiments that lasted 60 min per day, 3 days per week, over 8 weeks, using the “SRider” (Rider Co. and Chonbuk National University Korea).We measured trunk flexion, sit-up, whole-body reaction, leg strength, and maximal oxygen uptake as basal physical fitness parameters. Also, 3-m gait, single stance with eyes open, and single stance with eyes closed, as ADL functions, were estimated once per month. The leg strength and whole body reaction result were significantly higher than before the exercise program. Moreover, the results of the 3-m walking ability alone increased significantly among the ADL functions. These findings indicate that the horse riding exercise may activate continuous muscular contraction, maintaining the tonus of the muscles. The continuous movement of horse riding could be lead to isometric muscle contraction in the lower limbs. These results suggest that the horse riding exercise develops muscle power and muscle reactions with exercise.