Research Study Abstract

Translating a “Stand Up and Move More” intervention by state aging units to older adults in underserved communities

  • Published on July 9, 2019

As aging is associated with functional decline, preventing functional limitations and maintaining independence throughout later life has emerged as an important public health goal. Research indicates that sedentary behavior (prolonged sitting) is associated with functional loss and diminished ability to carry out activities of daily living. Despite many efforts to increase physical activity, which can be effective in countering functional loss, only an estimated 8% of older adults meet national physical activity guidelines. Thus, shifting the focus to reducing sitting time is emerging as a potential new intervention strategy but little research has been conducted in this area. With community support and funding, we developed and pilot tested a 4-week “Stand Up and Move More” intervention and found decreases in sedentary behavior, increases in physical activity, and improvements in mobility and vitality in a small sample of older adults. The purpose of this project is to expand upon these pilot results and examine the effectiveness and feasibility of translating a “Stand Up and Move More” intervention by State Aging Units to older adults in underserved communities. Eighty older adults from 4 counties across Wisconsin predominantly made up of rural older adults and older African American adults are randomly assigned to intervention (n = 40) or wait-list control (n = 40) groups. The intervention consists of 4 weekly sessions plus a refresher session at 8 weeks, and is delivered by community partners in each county. The sessions are designed to elicit ideas from older adults regarding how they can reduce their sitting time, help them set practical goals, develop action plans to reach their goals, and refine their plans across sessions to promote behavior change. Sedentary behavior, physical activity levels, functional performance, and health-related quality of life are assessed before and after the intervention to examine the effectiveness of the program. Feasibility of implementing the program by our community partners is assessed via semi-structured interviews. Strengths of this project include strong community collaborations and a high need given that the older adult population is projected to increase substantially in the next 15 years.

This project will provide an important step in developing effective strategies for maintaining independence in older adults through determining the feasibility and impact of a community-based intervention to break up sitting time.


  • Crombie, Kevin M. MS 1
  • Leitzelar, Brianna N. MS, MA 1
  • Almassi, Neda E. BS 1
  • Mahoney, Jane E. MD 2
  • Koltyn, Kelli F. PhD 1


  • 1

    Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • 2

    Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin



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