By Simone Palomo, Health Sciences; Alexandra Wall, Health Sciences/ Pre-PA; Kimberly Garrison, Health Sciences/ Pre-OT
Advisor: Rachel Gleason
Abstract: Joseph Pilates created the exercise known as Pilates with the goal of promoting low impact flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance. Aging can lead to deficits in postural control and increase the risk of falling. This program focuses on the benefits of Pilates to the aging population as it is meant to aid in balance and postural control alignment. The purpose of this project is to assess how effective Pilates exercises are in improving static and dynamic balance as well as range of motion of the thoracic spine and ankle joint. The subjects that participated in this project are 55 years or older and have no previous Pilates experience. Pre-outcome measures were taken before the 6-week Pilates program. Pilates sessions occurred twice a week, and a post-outcome assessment followed. The specific exercises were tailored to the ability of the subjects, emphasizing the deficits found in the pre-outcome measures. Exercises were advanced according to the subjects' progress. Each session was instructed by a certified Pilates instructor using the Pilates chair, which consists of different utilities and string tensions. This project should achieve the desired outcome of the subjects by improving their overall balance and flexibility.