UW-Madison’s Kelli Koltyn is leading a team of researchers that recently received funding from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a study titled “Translating a ‘Stand Up and Move More’ Intervention by State Aging Units to Older Adults in Underserved Communities.”
Koltyn is a professor of exercise psychology with the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology. The research team also consists of Dorothy Farrar-Edwards (UW-Madison Department of Kinesiology), Jane Mahoney (UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health), Ron Gangnon (UW-Madison Department of Population Health Sciences), and Laura Ellingson (Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University). In addition, two graduate students in the Department of Kinesiology at UW-Madison, Brianna Leitzelar and Kevin Crombie, are part of the project.
Koltyn explains that the number of older adults is expected to double by the year 2050, resulting in an increase in the number of people at risk for health problems and disability, which can impact older adults’ ability to live independently. Meanwhile, sedentary behavior is associated with negative health outcomes, functional loss and diminished ability to carry out activities of daily living.
In an effort to keep this growing aging population healthy, Koltyn says that community-based interventions are needed to reduce sedentary behavior and get older adults moving more throughout the day.
“Effective, feasible, and readily-accessible interventions have the potential to improve older adults’ health and function, as well as contain costs in this expanding population,” says Koltyn.
Koltyn received NIH funding for two years to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of translating the “Stand Up and Move More” intervention by State Aging Units to older adults in underserved communities, where the need is high and access to health programs are often limited.
“The Stand Up and Move More” intervention consists of four weekly sessions, plus a refresher session at eight weeks. It will be delivered by community partners in Dane, Iowa, Rock and Vilas counties in Wisconsin.
Koltyn says that based on self-regulation theory, the sessions will elicit ideas from older adults regarding how they can reduce their sitting time, help them set practical goals, develop action plans to reach their goals, and refine their plans across sessions to promote behavior change.
As part of the research project, Koltyn explains that sedentary behavior, physical activity levels, functional performance and health-related quality of life will be assessed before and after the intervention to examine the effectiveness of the program.
Semi-structured interviews will then be used to assess the feasibility of implementing the program by the community partners.