The elderly, like people of any age, should maintain physical activity that allows them to benefit from good health and a better quality of life.
Sedentary behaviors, loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia), bone weakening (osteopenia), can be precursors to decreased mobility and the appearance of ailments and degenerative diseases. Therefore, maintaining a routine of physical activities should be essential in the lives of people of any age.
Training with muscle electrostimulation increases performance and improves body composition, improving the health status and quality of life of the elderly.
Electrostimulation in the elderly
What is electrostimulation for the elderly?
Electrostimulation is a technique widely used in different fields such as Fitness and aesthetics.
Electrostimulation uses systems that emit electrical impulses to cause muscle contractions, and that combined with physical activity improves results.
Is electrostimulation beneficial for the elderly?
Electrostimulation helps prevent muscle atrophy, strengthens muscles, increases strength for joint stability, and helps treat contractures, among others. The benefits of EMS derive from the fact that it allows you to train the muscles in a deeper way without generating fatigue in the nervous system.
Are muscle electrostimulators effective?
Professional electrostimulators are effective. The effectiveness of electrostimulation devices helps us prevent degenerative diseases and increase strength for joint stability.
Benefits of electrostimulation in the elderly
Older people may experience loss of muscle and bone mass, resulting in reduced mobility. Elderly people obtain great benefits when performing physical exercises since it allows them to avoid degenerative diseases, so adding electrostimulation to their sports routine will improve performance and their motor skills.
Most of the studies conducted in older people revealed a positive impact of resistance training on muscle mass and functional capacity in older adults. However, some limitations of age or aversion to physical exercise prevent regular exercise. Most older people do not reach the recommended dose of exercise to achieve an impact on strength or muscle mass, and this has led the medical community to carry out research with electrostimulation in patients with this profile.
The study of EMS in older people
Wolfgang Kemmler conducted a study on the impact of whole body electrostimulation on body composition in older women at risk of sarcopenia. 76 lean, non-athletic women were randomized into an EMS group that performed 18 minutes of WB-EMS for 3 sessions over 14 days, and a semi-active control group. Body composition was assessed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and maximal strength was assessed with isometric techniques for the trunk and legs. After 54 weeks of intervention, significant differences were obtained between both groups for appendicular skeletal muscle mass, lean body mass and maximal isometric strength.
Kemmler, W., Bebenek, M., Engelke, K., & von Stengel, S. (2014). Impact of whole-body electromyostimulation on body composition in elderly women at risk for sarcopenia: the Training and ElectroStimulation Trial (TEST-III). Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands), 36(1), 395–406.
A Spanish study published in Experimental Gerontology alleged that one of the main effects of age is the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength in the lower limbs. This produces important functional consequences in daily activities, increasing dependency and the risk of falls and hospitalizations. Therefore, they studied the possibility of improving the physical health of their patients with the use of neuromuscular electrostimulation combined with low-intensity exercises.
The research was carried out with people between 75 and 96 years of age who lived in nursing homes and were able to carry out daily activities independently. They were divided into three groups to perform different types of low-intensity knee extension exercises. The first group, with voluntary muscle contraction, the second with electrostimulation, and the third with a combination of both.
The study concludes that moderate or low intensity exercise improves muscle mass and autonomy in older people. But, in addition, when combining these exercises with electrostimulation, muscle mass improves in a greater percentage, especially, the muscle mass of the rectus anterior of the quadriceps, which improved up to an added 42%.
Subsequent evaluations with ultrasonography revealed that, while the first two groups recorded an improvement in muscle mass by 16 and 30 percent, respectively, the group that combined physical exercise with electrostimulation obtained an increase in muscle mass by 42%, and also significantly improved their general mobility.
V. Benavent-Caballer, P. Rosado-Calatayud, E. Segura-Ortí, J.J. Amer-Cuenca, J.F. Lisón, (2014). Effects of three different low-intensity exercise interventions on physical performance, muscle CSA and activities of daily living: A randomized controlled trial, Experimental Gerontology, Volume 58, 2014, Pages 159-165, ISSN 0531-5565
Electrostimulation for the elderly is beneficial by improving the patient’s muscle mass and allowing them to develop their mobility. Older people may experience loss of functionality in routine activities, loss of independence, and increased risk of degenerative diseases if they maintain a sedentary lifestyle.
Electrostimulation has been postulated as a good and effective remedy to take care of the health and improve the quality of life of the elderly. Also, if you combine electrostimulation with low-intensity exercises, the results will improve significantly.
At Wiemspro we have developed high-tech devices that allow us to measure performance and improve the results of physical activity through a wireless connection. Our EMS suits are designed to allow the maximum mobility of the user and that it is not an impediment to the performance of their physical activities.
If you need to consult any doubt, you can find us on our website, we will help you to solve any doubt. If you want more information about electrostimulation, do not hesitate to consult our blog.