Home > Journals > Medicina dello Sport > Past Issues > Medicina dello Sport 2016 June;69(2) > Medicina dello Sport 2016 June;69(2):215-27



Cite this article as


A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation, Official Journal of the European Federation of Sports Medicine Association
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,202




Medicina dello Sport 2016 June;69(2):215-27


language: English

Controlled intensity aerobic activity in water and in the gym: effects on mood and physical efficiency in third age women

Raffaele SCURATI 1, Stefano BENEDINI 1, 2, Giovanni MICHIELON 1, Pietro L. INVERNIZZI 1, Lucia ZANNINI 1, Giampietro ALBERTI 1

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy; 2 Unit of Endocrinology, San Donato Policlinic, San Donato Milanese, Milan, Italy


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects on mood and physical efficiency of aerobic activity in water compared to aerobic activity of a corresponding type and intensity performed in a gym, in third age women.
METHODS: Forty-five women (76.0±3.5 years old, 62.3±7.7 kg, 156.0±7.0 cm) were divided into three groups, one control and two experimental groups. The latter carried out an eight week long aerobic activity respectively in water (APA-Aquatic Physical Activity) and in the gym (TPA-Terrestrial Physical Activity) with a workload between 60% and 70% of the maximum heart rate (MRH). Before and after the training period the mood (POMS questionnaire), physical efficiency (Rikli&Jones functional tests in the gym), the pain perceived during execution of the motor tests (VAS scale) were assessed and compared.
RESULTS: The APA group saw a significant reduction in the mood states relating to tension-anxiety, depression-dejection and anger-hostility (P<0.01), and an increase in vigour-activity (P<0.01). The TPA group saw a reduction in tension-anxiety and an increase in vigour-activity (P<0.05). APA also showed functional improvement in the lower limbs and in balance, measured by the 30-Chair Stand tests (30s-CS), 2- min Step Test (2m-ST) and 8-Foot Up-and-Go (8-FuG) (P<0.01). TPA improved in a significant manner in the strength of the upper limbs in 30-s Arm Curl (30s-AC) (P<0.05), and lower limbs, in 2 m-ST (P<0.01). Furthermore, in post-training, APA perceived less pain during the execution of all the motor tests (P<0.05), while TPA perceived less pain only in executing 30s-CS, 2m-ST and 8-FuG (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Aerobic activity in water seems to have had better effects on the mood state and on the physical efficiency than a comparable activity carried out in a gym. The aqua fitness programs are therefore highly recommendable as a sport for elderly women.

top of page

Publication History

Cite this article as

Scurati R, Benedini S, Michielon G, Invernizzi PL, Zannini L, Alberti G. Controlled intensity aerobic activity in water and in the gym: effects on mood and physical efficiency in third age women. Med Sport 2016 June;69(2):215-27. 

Corresponding author e-mail