Is Walking Barefoot on Different Natural Terrains Effective to Improve Balance in The Elderly?
Objectives: To study the effects of barefoot walking on three different surfaces for balance, lower limb strength, and confidence in the elderly.
Methods: 45 healthy subjects (mean age 65.08 ± 4.86) were randomly divided into three groups of different surfaces namely grass, sand, and soil. After the assessment, they were made to walk barefoot on either surface for 30 minutes/day, five days/week for six weeks. Data were analyzed using the ‘paired-t’ test and One-Way ANOVA with α set ≤ 0.05 at a 95% confidence interval.
Results: All groups showed statistically significant improvement in balance, lower limb strength, and confidence post-intervention (p<0.05). However, the inter-group analysis showed no significant difference, indicating no one surface is better than the other (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Barefoot walking improved balance, lower limb strength and confidence equally in all three groups with no statistically significant difference found.
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