With the VITAMINE (Dutch for 'vitamin') project of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), senior citizens are being further assisted in their pursuit of a fit lifestyle.
What is the goal of the project?
A commonly heard complaint from senior citizens is that they have difficulty doing everyday tasks. How do you ensure that people stay healthy and able to function independently for as long as possible? An active lifestyle and a correspondingly healthy diet can make a big difference. Many senior citizens therefore take part in the national ‘More Exercise for the Elderly’ (MBvO) programme and go once a week to the gym, where they receive supervision. However, the current structure of MBvO does not appear to have sufficient effect on fitness and health indicators.
With the VITAMINE (Dutch for 'vitamin') project of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), senior citizens are being further assisted in their pursuit of a fit lifestyle. This is done by offering them an additional home-based programme, which enables them to raise the frequency and intensity of their training activities and to function better. Online support will compensate for the absence of a supervisor or instructor for home-based training. At the same time, there will be a focus on the diet of senior citizens, for example by examining whether or not the use of extra protein has an effect on exercise.
What is the result of the project?
The research was carried out on the basis of user-centred design. Therefore, before the development of the training programme and online support started, an inventory of the needs of the target group was made. This qualitative information was gathered through focus groups with senior citizens. The conversations were organised and have been analysed by, among others, students on different degree programmes.
In 2016 and 2017, trials involving three different groups of each eighty participants will take place. The control group will take regular weekly gym lessons with no interventions. Intervention group one will take regular weekly gym lessons and the additional home-based exercise intervention. Intervention group two will do exactly as group one, but combined with coaching in a protein-rich diet.
Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?
VITAMINE is part of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) research program Urban Vitality. It's a collaborative project between the AUAS Weight Management, Physiotherapy, Remedial Therapy and Digital Life research groups, and Cordaan and the Stichting MBvO foundation.
What is the next step?
At the start of the study, and after six and twelve months, the participants will be ‘measured’. The question is how far the results will differ from one group to another. What is the effect of an extra functional exercise programme, and does extra protein really add anything? The answers will form the basis for the results of the research project.