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The effects of same-session combined exercise training on cardiorespiratory and functional fitness in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher HurstORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Endurance and strength training are effective strategies for counteracting age-associated reductions in physical performance in older adults, with a combination of both exercise modes recommended to maximise potential fitness benefits. This meta-analysis sought to quantify the effects of same-session combined endurance and strength training on fitness in adults aged over 50 years. Five electronic databases were searched with studies required to include one of the following outcome measures: VO2peak, 6-min walk test (6MWT), 8-ft timed up-and-go (TUG), and 30-s chair stand. Separate random-effects meta-analyses compared combined training with (1) no-exercise control, (2) endurance training, and (3) strength training with probabilistic magnitude-based inferences subsequently applied. Twenty-seven studies involving 1346 subjects with a mean age of 68.8 years (range 54–85 years) were included in the analysis. The meta-analysed effect on VO2peak was a moderately beneficial effect for the combined training compared to no-exercise controls (3.6 mL kg-1 min-1; ±?95% confidence limits 0.8 mL kg-1 min-1) with additional increases for studies with greater proportions of female participants and shorter training interventions. Combined training also had small-to-moderately beneficial effects on VO2peak when compared to endurance training (0.8 mL kg-1 min-1; ±?1.0 mL kg-1 min-1), 30-s chair stand when compared with strength training (1.1 repetitions; ±?0.5 repetitions) and on TUG (0.8 s; ±?0.7 s), 30-s chair stand (2.8 repetitions; ±?1.7 repetitions), and 6MWT (31.5 m; ±?22.4 m) when compared to no-exercise controls. All other comparisons were unclear. Same-session combined training can induce clinically relevant fitness improvements in older adults.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hurst C, Weston KL, McLaren SJ, Weston M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

Year: 2019

Volume: 31

Pages: 1701-1717

Online publication date: 19/01/2019

Acceptance date: 08/01/2019

Date deposited: 22/01/2019

ISSN (electronic): 1720-8319

Publisher: Springer International Publishing


DOI: 10.1007/s40520-019-01124-7


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