Quality of Life Research

, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 1577–1585 | Cite as

The water exercise improves health-related quality of life of frail elderly people at day service facility

  • Daisuke Sato
  • Koichi Kaneda
  • Hitoshi Wakabayashi
  • Takeo Nomura



The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of water exercise at a day service facility and the effects of water exercise frequency on health-related quality of life (HRQL).


Participants (n = 30) were randomly separated into three groups: two indicating exercise frequency, at once-weekly or twice-weekly, and a control group. One-hour exercise intervention sessions were carried out once or twice a week, accordingly, for 24 weeks. The water exercise session comprised a warm-up on land, activities of daily living (ADL) exercises, stretching, strength training, and relaxation in water. HRQL was evaluated using the Medical Outcomes Survey Short-Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire, and ADL disability was assessed using the Functional Independence Measure.


Significant differences were found between pre- and 6 months in both the once- and twice-weekly groups in HRQL (p < 0.05). No significant difference was found among pre-, 3 months, and 6 months. The effect size between the once and twice groups was moderate in both the physical component summary (0.72) and mental component summary (0.75) at 3 months. ADL disability shows significant correlation with HRQL.


Water exercise intervention at a day service facility improved participants’ HRQL for 6 months by improving exercise habits and ADL disability. Furthermore, the HRQL change differed according to exercise frequency: twice-weekly exercise showed more rapid improvement than once-weekly.


Water exercise intervention Health-related quality of life Activities of daily living disability Exercise frequency Day service facility 



Health-related quality of life


Activities of daily living


The public nursing-care insurance system


The Medical Outcomes Survey Short form-36


Functional Independence Measure


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease




Physical functioning


Role limitations due to physical health


Bodily pain


General health


Physical component summary




Social functioning


Role limitations due to emotional health


Mental health


Mental component summary


Body mass index


Rating of perceived exertion scale


Standard deviation


Effect size


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daisuke Sato
    • 1
    • 2
  • Koichi Kaneda
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Wakabayashi
    • 3
  • Takeo Nomura
    • 1
  1. 1.Doctoral Program in Health and Sport ScienceUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Comprehensive Human ScienceUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of DesignKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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