We’ve read it a million times – exercise is good for us. As we age it becomes even more important because exercise can improve our health and physical function. Research shows resistance training and balance exercises may be the best strategy for preventing falls. But many older adults don’t exercise, or don’t do the exercises that are the most beneficial for their health and well-being. Even if they do exercise, they might not be eating enough protein or calories to reap the benefits of it. As well, exercise programs can be expensive or unrealistic for people with chronic health conditions. We need practical and effective exercise programs for older Canadians.
To help fill this gap, Lora Giangregorio and Heather Keller, Schlegel Research Chairs at the Research Institute for Aging, along with a team of researchers, developed MoveSTroNg. The MoveSTroNg research study is an eight-week exercise and nutrition program that teaches older adults with chronic diseases how to perform resistance and balance exercises that can be easily integrated into their day. The program also includes behaviour change strategies, social interaction and education to increase protein intake and promote healthy nutrition.
The MoveSTroNg program was evaluated in four cities across Ontario (Sudbury, Guelph, Cambridge and Kitchener) in three distinct settings; a retirement home, the YMCA and a family health team. In total, 44 individuals were enrolled in the program (average age: 78 years); most participants were considered pre-frail or frail and had at least one chronic condition. Thirty-one participants completed the program with an average attendance of 72%. One person experienced a fall-related injury during exercise but is doing well, while two other participants reported pain during certain activities. Five individuals experienced injuries or health problems that were not related to the program. The MoveStrong program may increase participant’s walking speed, lower leg strength, balance, and quality of life. Overall, participants reported improvements to their strength, balance, posture, and confidence levels.
If you would like to learn more about about this research project or other research being done by this team, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lora Giangregorio, PhD
Schlegel Research Chair in Mobility and Aging
Heather Keller, RD, PhD, FDC, FCAHS
Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition and Aging
- Sharon Straus, University of Toronto and CLEAR Health Economics
- Angela Cheung, University of Toronto
- Wanrudee Isaranuwatchai, University of Toronto and CLEAR Health Economics
- Alexandra Papaioannou, McMaster University
- Maureen Ashe, University of British Columbia
- Marina Mourtzakis, University of Waterloo
- Caitlin McArthur, McMaster University
- Lehana Thabane, McMaster University
- Isabel Rodrigues, McMaster University
- Zachary Weston, Local Health Integration Network
- Jamie Milligan, Schlegel Specialist
- Desmond Loong, University of Toronto and CLEAR Health Economics
- Ellen Wang, University of Waterloo
- Matteo Ponzano, University of Waterloo
- Justin B. Wagler, University of Waterloo
Funding provided by CIHR
- The MoveStrong program for promoting balance and functional strength training and adequate protein intake in pre-frail older adults: A pilot randomized controlled trial
- Telephone Administration of the Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Dietary Assessmente in Older Adults: Lessons Learned
- Original quantitative research – Encouraging older adults with pre-frailty and frailty to “MoveStrong”: an analysis of secondary outcomes for a pilot randomized controlled trial
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