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Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Daiva A. Banaitis, PhD, PT

Second Advisor

Mary K. Farrell, MS, PT, NCS


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


Maintaining functional independence is an important facet of one's life. As people age, there are naturally occurring consequences both anatomically and physiologically. These changes can potentially lead to decreases in functional independence. With an ever-increasing geriatric population, means of maintaining or improving one's functional independence becomes evermore important. Some who are unable to care for all their needs may reside at assisted living centers. How then can these people maintain or improve their current abilities?

Many studies have shown the benefits of exercise, but few studies have examined the effects of an exercise program on the assisted living population and how that program affects their functional independence. The purpose of this study is to examine how a six-week walking exercise program affects individuals living in an assisted living population in the domains of balance, gait, physical performance, self-perception of quality of life, and vital signs. Statistically significant positive changes were found in physical performance with activities of daily living. No significant changes were found for the other domains.


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