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Curtin University
Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health

PANS - Physical Activity and Nutrition for Seniors (2009-2011)

Investigators:

Chief Investigators:

Project Coordinator:

  • Mrs Linda Burke (WACHPR, Curtin University)  

Collaborating Partners

  • Mrs Linda Burke (WACHPR, Curtin University)  

Funding

  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ($459,500)

Project Aims and Objectives

The aim of this randomised control trial is to develop and evaluate a low cost, accessible, sustainable and replicable physical activity and nutrition program for older insufficiently active people aged 60 to 70 years (older Baby Boomer – young seniors group).

The program’s objectives are to investigate and assess:

  • Effective approaches to recruit and retain seniors into a physical activity and nutrition research intervention.
  • The impact of a physical activity program on: seniors’ perception of social support, loneliness, mental health and overall physical activity.
  • Changes in levels of self reported physical activity and changes in diet due to participation in a physical activity and nutrition program.
  • Changes in levels of physical activity (minutes of aerobic activity per/week), BMI and waist circumference due to participation in a physical activity and nutrition program.

Background

Along with reduced levels of physical activity, older Australian’s mean energy consumption has increased, now over 60% of older Australian’s are considered overweight or obese. Therefore research encouraging older adults to increase their physical activity and improve their nutrition is of paramount importance. The purpose of this study is 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.

Project Overview

This study is a suburban based randomised control trial promoting a nutritional and physical activity intervention for insufficiently active people aged 60 to 70 years from low to medium SES groups. Six hundred subjects were recruited from the Perth metropolitan area using the Australian Federal Electoral Role and be randomly assigned to the intervention (n=300) and control (n=300) groups.

The intervention is comprised of a specially designed booklet that provides the 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 Guide phone and email contact with the option of attending suburban based small-group meetings.

Measures taken include psycho-social, physical activity and nutrition assessments, a range of anthropometric measures and demographics. Subjects will fill out a self-completion questionnaire at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Anthropometric measures will only be collected at baseline and 6 months.

Projected Key Outcomes

This study will provide important information to research into older adults as there has been very little research done with this generation, where both physical activity and nutrition are a combined intervention.

Publications

  • Burke, L., Jancey, J., Howat, P., Kerr, D., Lee, A., Shilton, T., Kent, C., Booth, M., Maitland, Freeman, S., Radici, S. & Sheppard, A. (2010) PANS: physical activity and nutrition for seniors.  Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research & Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control, Curtin Health Innovation Institute, Curtin University, Perth, 39pp, ISBN 978-0-9807998-1-1.

Conference Presentations

  • Burke, L., Howat, P., Jancey, J., Lee, A., Kerr, D., Shilton, T., Hills, A. & Anderson, A. (2010) Development of a nutrition and physical activity program for 60 – 70 year old people. International Union for Health Promotion and Education conference, Geneva, 12 July 2010.
  • Burke, L., Howat, P., Jancey, J., Lee, A., Kerr, D., Shilton, T., Hills, A. & Anderson, A. (2010) Developing a physical activity and nutrition program for older people with the target group’s input. Australian Health Promotion Association conference, Melbourne, 1 June 2010.
  • Burke, L., Howat, P., Jancey, J., Lee, A., Kerr, D., Shilton, T., Hills, A. & Anderson, A. (2010) Development of a physical activity and nutrition program for older people (60-70 years). Behavioural Research in Cancer Control conference, Fremantle, 14 April 2010.
  • Burke, L., Howat, P., Jancey, J., Lee, A., Kerr, D., Shilton, T., Hills, A. & Anderson, A. (2010) Physical activity and nutrition intervention for older people (60-70 years), Mark Livers Seminar, Curtin University, Perth, 8 November 2010.
  • Burke, L., Jancey, J., Howat, P., Lee, A., Kerr, D., Shilton, T., Hills, A. & Anderson, A. (2010) Development and process evaluation of a home-based physical activity and nutrition program for older people (60-70 years), APACPH Conference, Bali, 24 – 27 November 2010.
  • Burke, L., Howat, P., Jancey, J., Lee, A., Kerr, D., Shilton, T. (2010) Dilemmas in developing baseline questionnaire for Physical Activity and Nutrition for Seniors (PANS), Public Health Association Australia – Western Australia branch conference, Perth, 18-19 November 2010.
  • Burke, L., Howat, P., Jancey, J., Lee, A., Kerr, D., Shilton, T., Hills, A. & Anderson, A. (2010) Development of a physical activity and nutrition program for older people (60-70 years). Behavioural Research In Cancer Control Conference, Perth, April 2010.