In residential care, 50% of older adults are sedentary in most of their time, regardless of the positive impact of physical exercise on health. This study analysed whether television images positively impact the motivation and exercise intensity of cycling exercises of older adults in residential care.
In this randomised controlled cross-over study, 10 residential older adults (mean age 85.0 ± 5.7 years) with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) participated in 3 different cycling exercise interventions (TV off, TV turned on the National Geographic channel (NG) and TV with MemoRide software (Activ84Health, Leuven, Belgium) (MR) (cybercycling)) compared with a rest condition.
The participants cycled significantly more distance during NG compared with TVoff ( = 0.024). In comparison to the rest condition, the mean heart rate was significantly higher in all exercise conditions while the maximal heart rate was only higher during NG ( = 0.022). There was no difference in the Borg scale between the different exercise interventions. Interest and enjoyment scored significantly higher during NG ( = 0.014) and MR ( = 0.047) compared to the rest condition and in the NG versus TVoff ( = 0.018). No significant differences were observed in the emotions of the participants.
This study has shown indications that the addition of television images may increase the exercise intensity and motivation to exercise in residential older adults with MCI. However, the overall levels of physical activity were insufficient to meet the recommendations for moderate-intense aerobic exercise according to the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics and Global Ageing Research Network.Implications for rehabilitationCycling in front of a television increases the exercise volume and motivation to exercise in residential (pre)frail older adults with MCICybercycling had no additional effect in comparison to television images not linked to the exercise.Even with television images (pre)frail older adults with MCI did not meet the recommendations for moderate-intense aerobic exercise for residential older adults according to the IAGG-GARN.