Tagged / IMT

Article published in Physiological Reports

 

The article titled “The effects of 8 weeks of inspiratory muscle training on the balance of healthy older adults: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study” has been published by Physiological Reports.

 

It is the first research to describe the effects of inspiratory muscle training (i.e. breathing exercises that improve the strength of inspiratory muscles) on static and dynamic balance (measured with the clinical tool mini-BEST) and functional mobility (such as Timed Up and Go and 5 sit to stand tasks) with community dwellers older adults (aged 65+).

The research is part of Francesco Ferraro PhD journey. Journey guided with the supervision of Professor Alison McConnell, Dr James Gavin and Tom Wainwright

The article is now fully available as open access here

https://doi.org/10.14814/phy2.14076

Abstract

To examine the effects of 8‐week unsupervised, home‐based inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on the balance and physical performance of healthy older adults. Fifty‐nine participants (74 ± 6 years) were assigned randomly in a double‐blinded fashion to either IMT or sham‐IMT, using a pressure threshold loading device. The IMT group performed 30‐breath twice daily at ~50% of maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). The sham‐IMT group performed 60‐breaths once daily at ~15% MIP; training was home‐based and unsupervised, with adherence self‐reported through training diaries. Respiratory outcomes were assessed pre‐ and postintervention, including forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume, peak inspiratory flow rate (PIFR), MIP, and inspiratory peak power. Balance and physical performance outcomes were measured using the shortened version of the Balance Evaluation System test (mini‐BEST), Biodex® postural stability test, timed up and go, five sit‐to‐stand, isometric “sit‐up” and Biering–Sørensen tests. Between‐group effects were examined using two‐way repeated measures ANOVA, with Bonferroni correction. After 8‐week, the IMT group demonstrated greater improvements (P ≤ 0.05) in: PIFR (IMT = 0.9 ± 0.3 L sec−1; sham‐IMT = 0.3 L sec−1); mini‐BEST (IMT = 3.7 ± 1.3; sham‐IMT = 0.5 ± 0.9) and Biering–Sørensen (IMT = 62.9 ± 6.4 sec; sham‐IMT = 24.3 ± 1.4 sec) tests. The authors concluded that twice daily unsupervised, home‐based IMT is feasible and enhances inspiratory muscle function and balance for community‐dwelling older adults.

Young Life Scientists’ symposium: Frontiers in Musculoskeletal Health, Ageing and Disease

The past Saturday I was given the opportunity to present my pilot study titled “The influence of inspiratory muscle training on balance and functional mobility in healthy older adults” at the Young Life Scientists Symposium (YLS) held in Derby (see related poster).

 

Purpose of the pilot was to gain an understanding of the effect of 8 weeks inspiratory muscle training upon balance and functional mobility outcomes (including Five-Sit-To-Stand, Time Up and Go, Mini-Best test and others) in older adults (65 and over). The results have led to a double-blind random control trial which will be completed by the beginning of 2018.

The YLS is organised by PhD students and Post-Doc’s for other PhD students and early career researchers it aims to give the opportunity to network and discuss research matters via poster and oral communication in a positive and constructive environment.
This year symposium was focusing on three major sections: nutrition, exercises for ageing and metabolic disease in ageing. Speakers from all the UK discussed their works, and I had the chance to collect feedbacks explaining my methods and methodology.

I would like to thank Bournemouth University and my supervisors who helped me to achieve this opportunity.

Thank you for reading.
Francesco.

 

My personal experience at Café Scientific

Café scientific was one of the best public engagement activities that I have done in the past years, and I do recommend going there and deliver your talk to the public.

In all my past experiences (including pint of science, the festival of learning, U3A, the Air Show and others) I have always met great people who were interested to know and learn more about what we are doing here at BU, and at Café Scientific, it was no different.

I arrived there 1h before the talk, the café (vintage/steampunk style), was already set up for the event, thanks to the great work of the Public Engagement Team. So I had all the time to calm down and get ready.

At about 19:30 the place was packed, and few people had to listen to the talk standing up.

A sample of the presentation is available on Youtube:

Even if the room was fully booked, the audience was very quiet and focused on listening to the 40 minutes presentation.

However, the best part was at the end, and I am not referring to the delicious brownie cake that Boscanova Café made for celebrating the 5th birthday of Café Scientific, but for the questions.

I was happily surprised to have so many interesting questions, which made me think again about my projects.

There were questions about: the effect of singing and yoga exercises on balance; why not make a POWERbreathe that instead of a mouthpiece has a nosepiece; how much the improvement in balance was due to the strength of the muscles trained and not just the ability to breathe deeper; why not test the effects of meditation, and others very intelligent questions.

Finally, it was challenging and I hope that all the audience received the right message: research can be fascinating and fun, especially if you can share it with others.

If you are interested in know more about how to breathe your way into balance, contact me at fferraro@bournemouth.ac.uk

Thank you for reading.

Francesco.