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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 309506, 9 pages
Review Article

Chair-Based Exercises for Frail Older People: A Systematic Review

1Falls and Bone Health Service, Nottingham CityCare Partnership, Newbrook House, 385 Alfreton Road, Nottingham NG7 5LR, UK
2Division of Rehabilitation & Ageing, University of Nottingham, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
3Health Care of Older People, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 15 July 2013

Academic Editor: Lisa A. Brenner

Copyright © 2013 Kevin Anthony et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Frail older people are often unable to undertake high-intensity exercise programmes. Chair-based exercises (CBEs) are used as an alternative, for which health benefits are uncertain. Objective. To examine the effects of CBE programmes for frail older people through a systematic review of existing literature. Method. A systematic search was performed for CBE-controlled trials in frail populations aged ≥65 years published between 1990 and February 2011 in electronic databases. Quality was assessed using the Jadad method. Results. The search identified 164 references: with 42 duplicates removed, 122 reviewed, 116 excluded, and 6 analysed. 26 outcome measures were reported measuring 3 domains: mobility and function, cardiorespiratory fitness, mental health. All studies were of low methodological quality (Jadad score ≤2; possible range 0–5). Two studies showed no benefit, and four reported some evidence of benefit in all three domains. No harmful effects were reported; compliance was generally good. Conclusion. The quality of the evidence base for CBEs is low with inconclusive findings to clearly inform practice. A consensus is required on the definition and purpose of CBEs. Large well-designed randomised controlled trials to test the effectiveness of CBE are justified.