Exercise Physiology Northern Beaches, Sydney

Health through exercise prescription

Allan

These case studies are to show you how real people have changed their health status drastically by introducing moderate intensity exercise into their life.

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Allan

“Exercise is improving the strength of my leg, enabling me to walk further as well as making it possible for me to do the things I like to do” Allan

Allan, a semi-retired builder, is 80 and was referred by his doctor after being left with leg weakness after an achilles rupture in 2015. Allan is a very active man by nature but has had to put a hold on any work due to  his lack of mobility. Gait and balance problems in older adults is not only annoying for the individual but it increases the risk of having a fall. Poor gait and balance are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, as well as reduced level of function (Salzman, 2010).

Allan came to his initial assessment using a walking stick, his gait was awkward and therefore was putting a lot of pressure on his good (right) leg. Allan now follows a prescribed program which contains riding on a recumbent bike, walking on the treadmill, strength activities to build strength back in his achilles, balance and flexibility. Within 4 sessions Allan was no longer using his walking stick and was well on his way to getting his activity levels back, he is now fixing skirting boards, internal house painting, mowing lawns and more.

In order to track Allan’s progress we measured his calf around the muscle. The left calf had lost bulk and in Allan’s words “was looking sorry for itself”.

Session number Muscle belly (Left) Muscle belly (Right)
Initial session 32.5cm 37cm
Fifth session 37cm 38cm
 % increase  13.8  2.7

Not only did Allan increase the size of his calf, but over the four sessions he also improved his lower body strength by 60% .  This is measured by a 30 second sit to stand test. People with balance disorders have difficulty with transitional movements and due to the weakness in Allan’s injured leg, his risk of falling had increased. The sit to stand test is a valid tool for measuring this (Whitney et Al, 2005).

Allan is a now a regular member in the gym and he  follows a prescribed exercise program. He is enjoying the benefits of regular physical activity and is enjoying doing some work again.

Sue Cutbill 0433 151795

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