The lifestyle interventions and independence for elders study: Design and methods

Roger A. Fielding*, W. Jack Rejeski, Steven Blair, Tim Church, Mark A. Espeland, Thomas M. Gill, Jack M. Guralnik, Fang Chi Hsu, Jeffrey Katula, Abby C. King, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Mary M. McDermott, Michael E. Miller, Susan Nayfield, Anne B. Newman, Jeff D. Williamson, Denise Bonds, Sergei Romashkan, Evan Hadley, Marco Pahor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Background. As the number of older adults in the United States rises, maintaining functional independence among older Americans has emerged as a major clinical and public health priority. Older people who lose mobility are less likely to remain in the community; demonstrate higher rates of morbidity, mortality, and hospitalizations; and experience a poorer quality of life. Several studies have shown that regular physical activity improves functional limitations and intermediate functional outcomes, but definitive evidence showing that major mobility disability can be prevented is lacking. A Phase 3 randomized controlled trial is needed to fill this evidence gap. Methods. The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study is a Phase 3 multicenter randomized controlled trial designed to compare a supervised moderate-intensity physical activity program with a successful aging health education program in 1,600 sedentary older persons followed for an average of 2.7 years.Results.LIFE's primary outcome is major mobility disability, defined as the inability to walk 400 m. Secondary outcomes include cognitive function, serious fall injuries, persistent mobility disability, the combined outcome of major mobility disability or death, disability in activities of daily living, and cost-effectiveness. Conclusions. Results of this study are expected to have important public health implications for the large and growing population of older sedentary men and women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1226-1237
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume66 A
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Disability
  • Exercise
  • Geriatrics
  • Physical activity
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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