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Including older people in research trials - the benefits of high intensity training

The benefits of high intensity training generally, have received considerable coverage in the mainstream media recently and it was heartening to read of a trial undertaken by a team at Abertay Hospital, who focused on older subjects. Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The study was picked up by the mainstream media and Adam Gordon, in his capacity as Honorary Secretary of the BGS, commended the research as challenging assumptions about that the right type of exercise in old age. He made a plea for more research to be done on the benefits for even older people with frailty, saying: ‘The broad message is that you’re never too old, too frail, too ill to benefit from exercise, as long as it’s carefully chosen. We know even into your 80s and 90s, there’s benefit from developing a very slight sweat by exercising on multiple occasions per week.’


Dr John Babraj, the lead researcher said: ‘What we found with this study - involving just one minute of exercise twice a week - is that it not only improved the participants’ physical health and ability [with their day-to-day activities like standing up from a chair, or carrying shopping], but also their perceptions of their own ability to engage in physical activity.’


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