University of Bath

Take part in our health study and get a free 3-month gym membership

We're looking for men aged 65 to 80 to help us understand more about what happens when we can’t be active for a few weeks.

Take part in our new healthy study and get three months' free gym membership.
Take part in our new healthy study and get three months' free gym membership.

During the ageing process, muscles get smaller and weaker which may lead to frailty. Maintaining an active lifestyle is a crucial in slowing this process down, but we want to know more about what happens when we can’t be active for a few weeks.

Through this study our researchers want to understand more about the negative effect of reducing daily walking for 14-days on strength and overall health in older adults. They will be identifying ways to prevent loss of strength during reduced activity periods, and examining the recovery process through a supervised retraining programme. They hope that these findings can help people to stay healthy for as long as possible into later life.

Take part

To be eligible for this study you need to be:

  • healthy
  • aged between 65 and 80
  • non-smoking
  • not taking any anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids
  • free from musculoskeletal injuries

What's involved

You will need to travel to the University campus to take part.

All participants will be asked to undergo a week of physical activity monitoring, and to reduce daily walking to 1,500 steps per day for 2 weeks.

This study involves sampling of blood, muscle, and fat, as well of tests of muscle strength, balance, and muscle scanning measurements.

What you'll get

For taking part, you will get:

  • detailed feedback on diet and physical activity
  • the results of a scans for body composition and muscle size, and results of strength and balance testing
  • a three-month membership at the University of Bath Sports Training Village for use of the gym, swimming pool, and exercise classes

To take part, email o.j.perkin@bath.ac.uk

More about the study

Oly Perkin, who is leading the project, explained: “The importance of keeping our muscles healthy in later life can’t be overstated, so how something as common as becoming less active for a few weeks may affect our muscle size and function needs to be better understood."

Professor Keith Stokes is supervising this work, and his view is that: "Keeping active isn’t always possible with the daily challenges faced as we get older, so we want to identify ways to prevent this from impacting health.

“Ultimately, we hope that this research will inform the development of strategies to maintain healthy muscle and therefore quality of life in older people when normal activity patterns are disrupted”.