The significant changes in balance, functional mobility, strength, gait speed and fear of falling highlighted by the present study are clinically interesting as they improve various elements often at stake in older people, and particularly in women with osteopenia. They indeed help in reducing risk of falling or disabilities while being in favour of a higher independence in activities of daily living (walking, carrying groceries, personal care activities, transfers, etc.).
The mini-trampoline intervention appears to be very encouraging as it is one of the rare activities that increases various parameters at the same time, while reducing the risk of falling. Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that only short-term effects were assessed here and that additional studies should focus on long-term benefits of such techniques.
Although no significant changes were found in bone mineral density, it seems that further studies should be carried out before drawing any conclusions, as the duration of the intervention may remain short to see any benefit on bones according to the authors. Another reason might be the fact that a low-impact training device was used in the present study (mini-trampoline) while earlier studies assessing the effects of jumping on bone mineral density changes were based on high-impact jumping exercises (i.e., on the floor). Additionally, the current study targeted women with osteopenia while earlier studies focused on healthy premenopausal (i.e., younger) women.
A question that may arise when reading the present study is: are there risks involved in such mini-trampoline intervention? It is true that this technique is not without any risk, but the authors’ position is, that physical activity in general may present some risks for older people. Moreover, they minimised these risks with the presence of a specialised and experienced instructor as well as with the use of a mini-trampoline. In any case, clinicians should be aware of the potential risks of such intervention and assess its opportunity case by case.