Individual physical activity profiling in older adults: Reforming the assessment of dose-response relationship (PA-REFORM)

Main funder

Funder's project number: 339391

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 447 650,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/09/2021

Project end date: 31/08/2026


Recent estimates of the prevalence of insufficient physical activity reveal an alarming discrepancy, suggesting that either 20% or 80% of the population are insufficiently active. The problem seems to be the dichotomised classification of physical activity based on an absolute volume, which is especially unsuitable for population groups with functional disabilities, such as older adults. The physical activity guidelines suggest adjusting the level of effort relative to fitness level. Yet, we do not have a method to quantify activity relative to individual fitness. In this project we will suggest novel ways to use data from wearable sensors to examine dose-response relationship between physical activity relative to individual capacity and all-cause mortality.
The baseline data are from a population-based AGNES study for 75, 80 or 85 year old adults, where two wearable sensors recorded free-living movement and electrocardiography simultaneously. In the present study, we will collect follow-up data on physical activity, physical performance and all-cause mortality until seven years after the baseline. This unique longitudinal dataset will advance physical activity assessment in older adults. First, we will calibrate accelerometry and heart rate data to individual physical capacity to provide separate estimates for external and internal load. For this purpose, analysis of heart rate will be regenerated for noisy real-life data utilising novel methodology based on artificial intelligence (deep learning). Finally, dose-response relationship between physical activity and mortality will be assessed using relative instead of absolute volume of activity. The work will redefine physical activity measurement that is in line with the current recommendation through an interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists with expertise in exercise, gerontology, cardiology, physics, and computational science from the Universities of Jyväskylä and Cambridge.
This study will produce a novel method for investigating physical activity relative to individual capacity in older adults. We will enhance measurement of physical activity in scientific research by making our method publicly available and free to use for other research groups. We will enhance heart rate analysis in scientific research and gain new information about the feasibility of heart rate measurement in older cohorts. The study will provide a rationale for updated physical activity guidelines and tools for individual physical activity counselling.

Principal Investigator

Other persons related to this project (JYU)

Primary responsible unit

Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 12:22