Office of Undergraduate Research

Correlates of Health, Physical Activity, and Physical Functioning in Older Adults

Objective of the project: To assess the relationship of physical activity and sedentary behavior between physical function, endothelial function, metabolic and cardiovascular biomarkers, bone health, body composition, and psychosocial measures in healthy older adults. This is a collaborative project between the Neuromuscular Control Lab and the Physical Activity and Health Lab. In this study we already have IRB approval to test 180 older adults. A large part of the students' time will be dedicated to testing the physical function of older adults (50-89 yo). The broad battery of tests being performed in my lab assess: i) strength, ii) manual dexterity, iii) sensation, iv) reaction time, and v) balance.

Tasks and responsibilities:

i) review the scientific literature related to postural sway and incidence of falls in the elderly ii) assist in the development of an experimental protocol that optimizes our ability to use postural sway measures and choice step reaction time to detect the incidence of falls iii) prepare IRB documentation In addition, as a member of the lab, students will continue to be required to: iv) attend weekly lab meetings v) collect and analyze data vi) work corroboratively with other graduate students and undergraduates in the lab vi) prepare a report on the pilot data collected that will serve as data for an NIH R15 grant proposal. In addition to weekly lab meetings, the student and instructor will hold weekly meetings to discuss progress on the assigned tasks