Physical Activity Intervention for Older Adults

Physical Activity Intervention for Older Adults

In a publication in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Dr. Nancy Glynn from the University of Pittsburgh, Klein Buendel’s Senior Scientist Dr. Valerie Myers, and several other contributors evaluate the effectiveness of the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study.

The LIFE study was a randomized controlled trial designed to compare a moderate-intensity physical activity intervention with a health education program for sedentary older persons, 65 years or older, with low physical activity who are at risk for major mobility disability. LIFE’s primary goal was to investigate whether physical activity is an effective and practical way for preventing major mobility disability in older persons, which is defined as the inability to walk 400 meters.

For the study, participants at multiple centers were asked to perform a 400-meter walk at a normal pace every six months at which various measurements were assessed and calculated including baseline fatigue, self-reported fatigue, and energy levels. The physical activity intervention incorporated lower extremity resistance exercises, balance exercises, stretching and behavioral counseling. Health education seminars were also provided with information available about health-related matters and involved various upper extremity stretching exercises.

To learn more about the physical activity intervention and if it was effective at preserving the mobility of older adults, you can view a full description of the methods, results, and discussion in the publication.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute on Aging (AG022376; Marco Pahor, MD, University of Florida, Principal Investigator). Dr. Myers is one of the paper’s 16 authors, including the Interventions and Independence for Elders Study Group.

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