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PeerJ. 2019 Jun 4;7:e6973. doi: 10.7717/peerj.6973. eCollection 2019.

Exploring the feasibility, sustainability and the benefits of the GrACE + GAIT exercise programme in the residential aged care setting.

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School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, CQUniversity, Mackay, Queensland, Australia.
Health Science and Medicine, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia.
Southern Cross Care, North Plympton, South Australia, Australia.
School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Water Based Research Unit, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia.
Physical Activity, Lifestyle, Ageing and Wellbeing Faculty Research Group, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Human Potential Centre, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India.



The feasibility and benefits of a 24-week targeted progressive supervised resistance and weight-bearing exercise programme (Group Aged Care Exercise + GAIT (GrACE + GAIT)) in the residential aged care (RAC) setting was investigated as very little peer-reviewed research has been conducted in relation to exercise programmes of this duration in this cohort.


A quasi-experimental study design consisting of two groups (control and exercise) explored a 24-week targeted progressive supervised resistance and weight-bearing exercise programme (GrACE + GAIT) in two RAC facilities in Northern New South Wales, Australia. A total of 42 adults consented to participate from a total of 68 eligible residents (61.7%). The primary outcome measures were feasibility and sustainability of the exercise programme via intervention uptake, session adherence, attrition, acceptability and adverse events. Secondary measures included gait speed and the spatio-temporal parameters of gait, handgrip muscle strength and sit to stand performance.


Twenty-three residents participated in the exercise intervention (mean (SD) 85.4 (8.1) years, 15 females) and 19 in the control group (87.4 (6.6) years 13 females). Exercise adherence was 79.3%, with 65% of exercise participants attending ≥70% of the sessions; 100% of those originally enrolled completed the programme and strongly agreed with the programme acceptability. Zero exercise-related adverse events were reported. ANCOVA results indicated that post-intervention gait speed significantly increased (p < 0.001) with an 18.8% increase in gait speed (m/s).


The GrACE + GAIT programme was shown to be feasible and significantly improve adults living in RAC facilities gait speed, handgrip strength and sit to stand performance. These results suggest that the GrACE + GAIT programme is suitable for use in the RAC sector and that it has the potential to reduce disability and improve function and quality of life of the residents.


Ageing; Geriatrics; Resistance training; Walking

Conflict of interest statement

Justin W.L. Keogh and Mike Climstein are Academic Editors for PeerJ. Timothy Henwood is the Group Manager, Connected Living—Community Wellness and Lifestyle of Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) Inc., Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

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