Individuals that are above 60 years old have decreased functions of several organs, such that the lungs can lose greater than 40% of their capacity over time and a significant reduction in cardiopulmonary muscle strength and endurance. However, some of these changes can be negated by lifestyle modification. This study compared the effects of aerobic exercise training and incentive spirometry on selected cardiopulmonary parameters in apparently healthy elderly. Forty apparently healthy elderly aged 60 to 94 years were recruited from selected homes for the elderly in Lagos State through a purposive sampling for this study but 35 of them (17 males and 18 females) completed it. They were randomly assigned to 3 groups. Group A underwent Aerobic Exercise training, Group B underwent Incentive Spirometry and Group C was the Control. These interventions were done three days a week for four weeks. Selected cardiopulmonary parameters were assessed at baseline and at the end of 4 weeks. Data were analysed using SPSS version 17. Although there were positive changes in most of the cardiopulmonary parameters of groups A and B, paired t- test showed that they were not statistically significant except Forced Expiratory Volume in 1 second (FEV1) (A: p=0.002; B: p=0.03). Comparison of the mean changes in all selected variables due to the two interventions showed no significant differences. There were no significant differences between the mean changes caused by Incentive Spirometry and Aerobic Exercise training in selected cardiopulmonary parameters in apparently healthy elderly, although incentive spirometry brought about better changes.
Key words: Aerobic exercise training, Incentive spirometry, cardiopulmonary parameters, elderly.
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