The effects of strength and balance training using a Rock-it Board in an ageing population

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McKay, Elizabeth Margaret-Mary
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Health Science
Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT)
Lander, Patrick
Paton, Carl
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
older people
fall prevention
Otago Exercise Programme
stability training device
Rock-it Board
McKay, E. M.-M. (2022). The effects of strength and balance training using a Rock-it Board in an ageing population. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Health Science). Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT), New Zealand.
BACKGROUND Strength and balance programs are a well-established training method in preventing falls in people over the age of 65 years. However, there is limited research investigating the effects of strength and balance training using a stability training device, and no research to date using a Rock-it Board. AIM The purpose of this research was to evaluate whether the use of a Rock-it Board stability training device could improve strength and balance in older people, which could potentially reduce the risk of a fall. METHOD This study used a randomised parallel-group design trial with an experimental and control group. The experimental group consisted of five females (mean ± SD, age 77 ± 3.4 years, 70.9 ± 9.7 kg and 160.2 ± 4.6 cm) and two males (mean ± SD, age 75.5 ± 3.5 years, 78.9 ± 7.9kg, 167.8 ± 0.4 cm). The control group consisted of seven females (mean ± SD, age 64.3 ± 4.7 years, 68.0 ± 6.2 kg and 161.86 ± 4.4 cm). The experimental and control groups completed pre-intervention exercise testing consistent with the OEP. The tests used were the Romberg Test, Timed Up and Go Test, Functional Reach Test, Sit to Stand Test, Left and Right Knee Extension Force Test and a Stair Climb Test. The experimental group exercise sessions' training comprised one session twice a week of 50 minutes for four weeks. Due to a nationwide lockdown, training was continued for two additional weeks before post-testing could commence. The training, designed to improve strength and balance, consisted of a warm-up and then seven dynamic balance exercises based on movements from the OEP adapted to be used with a Rock-it Board stability training device. The control group participants were asked to maintain their habitual exercise routines but refrain from additional organised training during the six weeks. RESULTS The results showed significant improvements for the experimental group in the Romberg Test (p=0.023) and the Timed Up and Go Test (p=0.03). The Romberg Test showed a magnitude of improvement in the experimental group of 36.7 %, with a large effect size (d) of 1.05. The Timed Up and Go Test showed a magnitude of improvement in the experimental group of –6.3 % with a moderate effect size (d) of 0.68. Other measures suggested that the invention improved the performance of the participants; however, none of these measures achieved significance. CONCLUSION The major finding of this study is that six weeks of dynamic balance training using a Rock-it Board improved several measures of balance and stability in older individuals. The improvements in test performance may be associated with improvements in strength and potentially neuro-muscular function. Since falls rarely commence from a static position, this study recommends that older individuals would benefit from more active and dynamic training interventions over static strength-based training programmes.
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