What's involved in the study
The research will be conducted online using remote surveys and video calling, participants will be asked to undertake a 12-week progressive exercise programme.
The first part of the online survey will provide all the study information and eligibility screening. If participants agree to take part, they will be asked to complete an online questionnaire about their physical activity and well-being. We will then arrange a video call with them to assess physical function. Participants will then be randomly assigned to receive the progressive 12-week exercise and Tai-chi snacking intervention immediately (you'll be asked to do 10 minutes of strength and Tai-chi exercises per day in two sessions) or in 3 months’ time after a period of assessment of your normal behaviour.
During the 3-month period we will ask participants to have assessments every four weeks, assessing their strength and balance via a remote video call, and to complete a few short questionnaires on their computer, phone, or tablet. If participants wish to, they may also opt in to come to the University of Bath for in person assessments that will help us understand the impact of the ‘snacking’ exercises in more detail.
To be eligible to participate in this study, you must:
- be aged 65 or greater and able to perform daily physical activity independently
- not be regularly engaging in recreational sports or structured exercise (once a week or more)
- be a UK citizen
- Current ongoing medication or treatment for injuries or illness that would impact on any of the study outcomes.
- Current musculoskeletal injury that would preclude participation in exercise ascertained through preliminary screening.
- Contraindications to exercise including chest pain, dizziness, or loss of consciousness, or who have been instructed by their doctor to only do physical activity recommended by them.
- Individuals who have been diagnosed with dementia.
- Individuals who are unable to consent for themselves or complete the familiarisation / baseline screening by themselves.
- Individuals who score too high or too low on a physical performance test that we will conduct before the study starts.
What you'll get for taking part
Participants in this study will benefit from receiving instruction on how to perform safe, light-touch, home-based exercise either during the active intervention or after the final assessment if allocated to the waiting-list control group.
All data will collected as part of the study will be stored anonymously and securely, with any results published from this study will be anonymous and include no identifiable information. The study is approved by the Research Ethical Approval Committee for Health.1