University of Bath researchers want people aged 65 and over to come forward to take part in a new study exploring how home-based ‘exercise snacking’ could help us improve physical function, and maintain balance and muscle strength as we age.
Participation in the study, which is led by University researchers Ian-Ju Liang and Dr Max Western, takes place online using remote surveys and video calling. Participants are asked to undertake a 12-week progressive exercise programme to test the effectiveness of a unique tai chi programme.
The team is particularly interested in speaking to individuals who do not regularly participate in recreational sports or structured exercise (such as classes or going to a gym). People enrolled on the study will be monitored to see how home-based exercise snacking using Tai chi could help them.
Lead researcher Dr Western from the University’s Department for Health explained: “We are exploring a new format of strength and balance exercise that is designed to be super convenient and safe, and to fit in with everyone’s usual routine, called ‘exercise and tai chi snacking’.
“This is targeted at people who are not currently going to the gym or doing regular exercise classes, as we know that the gym is not for everyone. Keeping up our strength and balance as we age is essential for our physical and cognitive health, and enables people to be physically active and maintain independent lives.”
The team has developed a tai chi exercise snacking programme that is focused on strengthening upper and lower body. It takes just 10 minutes a day and there is no need for specialist equipment.