Background: Along with reduced levels of physical activity, older Australian's mean energy consumption has increased. Now over 60% of older Australians are considered overweight or obese. This study aims to confirm if a low-cost, accessible physical activity and nutrition program can improve levels of physical activity and diet of insufficiently active 60-70 year-olds.
Methods/design: This 12-month home-based randomised controlled trial (RCT) will consist of a nutrition and physical activity intervention for insufficiently active people aged 60 to 70 years from low to medium socio-economic areas. Six-hundred participants will be recruited from the Australian Federal Electoral Role and randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 300) and control (n = 300) groups. The study is based on the Social Cognitive Theory and Precede-Proceed Model, incorporating voluntary cooperation and self-efficacy. The intervention includes a specially designed booklet that provides participants with information and encourages dietary and physical activity goal setting. The booklet will be supported by an exercise chart, calendar, bi-monthly newsletters, resistance bands and pedometers, along with phone and email contact. Data will be collected over three time points: pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention and 6-months post-study.
Discussion: This trial will provide valuable information for community-based strategies to improve older adults' physical activity and dietary intake. The project will provide guidelines for appropriate sample recruitment, and the development, implementation and evaluation of a minimal intervention program, as well as information on minimising barriers to participation in similar programs.
Trial registration: Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000735257.