The LIFE Study Physical Activity Intervention Published by Dove Medical Press

Share Article

A detailed description of how the physical activity intervention was delivered on major mobility disability in older adults who have compromised physical function (from the LIFE Study).

The information in this paper provides a valuable foundation for subsequent exercise trials in older adults and will be important to those whose goal is to design dissemination research on this important topic.

Clinical Intervention in Aging has published the original research "Promoting physical activity for elders with compromised function: the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study physical activity intervention".

The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study is a Phase 3 multicenter randomized controlled trial funded by a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Aging. The primary aim is to provide definitive evidence regarding the effect of physical activity (PA) on major mobility disability in older adults (70-89 years old) who have compromised physical function. As corresponding author Professor Jack Rejeski says, "This paper provides a detailed description of how the physical activity intervention was delivered, the motives and perceptions that participants held about the intervention just after randomization to treatment, and data on patterns of physical activity achieved during actual physical activity training sessions."

Professor Rejeski continues, "While the primary aim of the study is related to physical functioning, this was not always the primary reason that participants joined the study! Even before the study began, some participants admitted to challenges in participating in the intervention although, for the most part, conflict was relatively low. In delivering the intervention, socially-oriented strategies and relationships have become powerful and valued tools for promoting behavior change. Finally, we have learned that it is not feasible to have a single exercise prescription for older adults with compromised function. The concept of what constitutes 'moderate' exercise or an appropriate volume of work is dictated by the physical capacities of each individual and the level of comfort/stability in actually executing a specific prescription."

As Dr Richard Walker, Editor-in-Chief, explains, "Although prolongation of life remains an important public health goal, of even greater significance is that extended life should involve preservation of the capacity to live independently and to function well. Since reduced mobility poses a risk for the loss of independence and compromises quality of life, an important challenge for public health is to identify interventions that might prevent major mobility disability in at-risk aging populations. Such interventions to oppose sarcopenia, perhaps the primary factor contributing to age-associated loss of independence include specific nutritional supplements, behavioral modification programs and regular physical exercise designed to be compatible with each individual’s performance capability."

The present study was designed to compare the effects of a supervised moderate-intensity physical activity (PA) program in conjunction with a successful aging (SA) health education program on the incidence of major mobility disability in sedentary older persons, 70-89 years of age having objectively measured functional limitations. An important feature of the intervention was that it facilitated development of favorable social cognitions related to physical activity. The authors found that group-mediated interventions are particularly effective for promoting behavior change among older adults for several reasons. The social environment of the group is valued independently of the behavior being promoted and serves to enhance regular attendance.

Participants are often motivated by the persistence of more disabled peer group members and benefit from witnessing individuals who reinitiate physical activity after significant health events. The group also becomes a means of promoting important self-regulatory behaviors and a venue for instilling pride in accomplishments.

The information in this paper provides a valuable foundation for subsequent exercise trials in older adults and will be important to those whose goal is to design dissemination research on this important topic.

Clinical Interventions in Aging is an international, peer-reviewed journal focusing on evidence-based reports on the value or lack thereof of treatments intended to prevent or delay the onset of maladaptive correlates of aging in human beings. Research topics include Alzheimer's disease, Dementia, Osteoporosis, Geriatrics. The journal encourages concise rapid reporting of original research and reviews in aging.

Dove Medical Press Ltd is a privately held company specializing in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Albert Chan
Follow us on
Visit website