Virtual Group-Exercise for Older Adults

Students monitoring participants' progress.

Using web-conferencing technology, this innovative study aims to improve adherence to home exercise regimes and prevent falls in older adults.

Principal Investigator: Machiko R. Tomita, PhD

Co-investigators: Nadine M. Fisher, EdD; Terry Mashtare, PhD; and Dan K. Ramsey, PhD

Funding Agency: National Institute on Aging

Period: 08/2012-07/2014

Abstract: One in three older adults experience a fall and 50% will fall again within one year. Although it is known that the most effective method to prevent falls is regular exercise, home exercise suffers from a low adherence rate. To overcome this obstacle, Tomita and a multidisciplinary team of researchers will use web-conferencing technology to create a small group (six to 12 participants) exercise environment for solitary exercise at home. Each participant will use a netbook, a large monitor, and a Wi-Fi Internet connection to follow exercise instructions on the screen and chat with peers while the research team monitors participant adherence and safety.