High Intensity Walking to Reduce Frailty

Project: Research project

Project Details


Frailty is a leading cause of dependency among older adults, affects up to 60% of older adults, and is associated with an increased risk for falls, hospitalizations, institutionalization, and death. Exercise is the most widely recommended treatment for improving physical function among the frailty, but the optimal type or intensity of exercise is unknown. Walking is a preferred physical activity among older adults; however, there are no clear guidelines on the best intensity of walking to reduce frailty.
In this project, we will enroll 100 pre-frail and frail assisted living residents from CJE SeniorLife and randomly assign them to either a 2x/week, 8 week high intensity walking (HIW) intervention at 70-80% of heart rate maximum or a moderate intensity walking (MIW) intervention at 50-60% of heart rate maximum. We will measure participants’ frailty, physical functioning, mobility, balance, quality of life, and healthcare utilization at the beginning of the intervention, immediately following the 16 sessions, and 3 months following the conclusion of the intervention.
Effective start/end date9/1/18 → 8/31/20


  • Retirement Research Foundation (RFR Grant #2018-032)


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