"Go4Life" exercise counseling, accelerometer feedback, and activity levels in older people

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2014 May-Jun;58(3):314-9. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2014.01.004. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


Older people are more sedentary than other age groups. We sought to determine if providing an accelerometer with feedback about activity and counseling older subjects using Go4Life educational material would increase activity levels. Participants were recruited from independent living areas within assisted living facilities and the general public in the Rochester, MN area. 49 persons aged 65-95 (79.5±7.0 years) who were ambulatory but sedentary and overweight participated in this randomized controlled crossover trial for one year. After a baseline period of 2 weeks, group 1 received an accelerometer and counseling using Go4Life educational material (www.Go4Life.nia.nih.gov) for 24 weeks and accelerometer alone for the next 24 weeks. Group 2 had no intervention for the first 24 weeks and then received an accelerometer and Go4Life based counseling for 24 weeks. There were no significant baseline differences between the two groups. The intervention was not associated with a significant change in activity, body weight, % body fat, or blood parameters (p>0.05). Older (80-93) subjects were less active than younger (65-79) subjects (p=0.003). Over the course of the 48 week study, an increase in activity level was associated with a decline in % body fat (p=0.008). Increasing activity levels benefits older patients. However, providing an accelerometer and a Go4Life based exercise counseling program did not result in a 15% improvement in activity levels in this elderly population. Alternate approaches to exercise counseling may be needed in elderly people of this age range.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01502007.

Keywords: Accelerometers; Exercise counseling; Older adults; Physical activity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Counseling*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Sedentary Behavior

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01502007