• Thu. Sep 29th, 2022



Feinstein Institutes Receives $1.7M Grant to Study Behavior Change Science, Promote Exercise in Older Adults

Only half of the adults in the United States get the exercise they need to help reduce and prevent chronic diseases. To better understand the benefits and develop behavior change interventions to promote physical activity in older adults, researchers at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research have been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

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Dr. Karina Davidson (Credit: Feinstein Institutes)

A team led by Karina W. Davidson, PhD, MASc, professor and senior vice president at the Feinstein Institutes, will work with an international network of geriatricians, exercise physiologists, and other experts to collaborate and review current aging and behavior change theories. They will then assess and develop pilot study programs with participants in an effort to determine the best methods to help increase exercise and decrease sedentary behavior. They will build an evidence-based collection of personalized behavior change interventions for other researchers to use.

“Physical activity helps foster healthy aging, but it has been a challenge to get older individuals to incorporate exercise regularly into their lives,” said Dr. Davidson. “We hope to identify intervention strategies to change the behavior of adults and promote exercises that can improve the quality of their lives.”

The goals of the programs are to identify the behavior change techniques that are effective for improving low-intensity physical activity such as walking in older, otherwise healthy adults. Dr. Davidson and her team will help advance the fundamental understanding of behavior change theories, techniques, and mechanisms through personalized interventions.

The grant is supported by the Edward R. Roybal Centers for Translational Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences of Aging, through the NIA. The goal of the Roybal Center program is to translate basic behavioral and social research findings into interventions to improve the lives of older people.

“Dr. Davidson is a leader in behavior research and in identifying factors underlying behavioral change,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. “NIA support of these efforts is evidence her approach is significant and impactful in the field of healthy aging.”

About the Feinstein Institutes

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer in New York State. Home to 50 research labs, 3,000 clinical research studies and 5,000 researchers and staff, the Feinstein Institutes raises the standard of medical innovation through its five institutes of behavioral science, bioelectronic medicine, cancer, health innovations and outcomes, and molecular medicine. We make breakthroughs in genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and are the global scientific leader in bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we produce knowledge to cure disease, visit http://feinstein.northwell.edu and follow us on LinkedIn.

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Matthew Libassi

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