Tagged / RMT

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



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.