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Physical activity as intervention for age-related loss of muscle mass and function: protocol for a randomised controlled trial (the LISA study)

02 Dec 2016

Introduction

Physical and cognitive function decline with age, accelerating during the 6th decade. Loss of muscle power (forcexvelocity product) is a dominant physical determinant for loss of functional ability, especially if the lower extremities are affected. Muscle strength training is known to maintain or even improve muscle power as well as physical function in older adults, but the optimal type of training for beneficial long-term training effects over several years is unknown. Moreover, the impact of muscle strength training on cognitive function and brain structure remains speculative. The primary aim of this randomised controlled trial is to compare the efficacy of two different 1 year strength training regimens on immediate and long-lasting improvements in muscle power in retirement-age individuals. Secondary aims are to evaluate the effect on muscle strength, muscle mass, physical and cognitive function, mental well-being, health-related quality of life and brain morphology.

Methods and analysis

The study includes 450 home-dwelling men and women (62–70 years). Participants are randomly allocated to (1) 1 year of supervised, centre-based heavy resistance training, (2) home-based moderate intensity resistance training or (3) habitual physical activity (control). Changes in primary (leg extensor power) and secondary outcomes are analysed according to the intention to treat principle and per protocol at 1, 2, 4, 7 and 10 years.

Ethics and dissemination

The study is expected to generate new insights into training-induced promotion of functional ability and independency after retirement and will help to formulate national recommendations regarding physical activity schemes for the growing population of older individuals in western societies. Results will be published in scientific peer-reviewed journals, in PhD theses and at public meetings. The study is approved by the Regional Ethical Committee (Capital Region, Copenhagen, Denmark, number H-3-2014-017).

Trial registration number

NCT02123641.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open