Feasibility and impact of high-intensity walking training in frail older adults

Margaret K. Danilovich*, David E. Conroy, T. George Hornby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To investigate the impact of high-intensity walking training (HIWT) on prefrail and frail older adults, five assisted living residents underwent a supervised 12-session intervention. The intervention consisted of 30min of HIWT at 70-80% of heart rate reserve or ratings of 15 to 17 (hard to very hard) on the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion scale. Training included walking at fast speeds, multi-directions, stairs, and outdoor surfaces with and without an assistive device. Training significantly reduced frailty using the SHARE-FI (p = .008), increased fast gait speed (p = .01), improved 6-min walk test distance (p = .03), and enhanced Berg Balance Scale scores (p = .03). There were no adverse events and all participants reached target training intensity in all 12 sessions. Participants viewed the walking intervention as highly satisfactory (9.6/10 on a Likert scale) and 100% recommended that the assisted living facility should offer HIWT as part of routine programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-538
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Assisted living residents
  • Frailty
  • High-intensity training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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