Getting older adults to be more active

Getting older adults to be more active

Exercise and physical activity are good for our health, and soon Generation 100, a comprehensive study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) on the effects of exercise on aging will be able to tell us whether exercise actually prolongs life.

But merely knowing that exercise yields big health gains doesn’t mean much as long as a majority of the elderly are not active enough to achieve these benefits.

In two newly published studies, researchers at NTNU’s Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) have identified the kinds of exercise that older adults choose and who is most prone to dropping out of a training programme.

“The results could be important to help facilitate increasing activity levels in the elderly. Information about what older adults prefer enables us to tailor exercise programmes to appeal to seniors,” says Line Skarsem Reitlo. Both research articles are part of her doctoral project.

70 000 exercise logs

Generation 100 is an exercise study that has been underway for five years.

More than 1500 participants between ages 70 and 77 were randomly assigned to one of two exercise groups or a control group. The participants in the two exercise groups undertook moderate or high intensity training sessions twice a week, mostly on their own.

“We read through a total of 70 000 exercise logs from the first year of the study. It turned out that the participants to a great degree managed to train at the prescribed intensity. This is important to know, because it indicates that older people do not need to be monitored to be able to train at high intensity,” says Reitlo.

Source: Getting older adults to be more active