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A Comparison of Weighted Vest Exercise and Strength Training

This study has been completed.
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital PM&R
Information provided by:
National Institute on Aging (NIA) Identifier:
First received: September 7, 2005
Last updated: July 23, 2010
Last verified: July 2010
The purpose of this study is to evaluate two types of exercise therapy designed to improve muscle power and mobility: weighted vest exercise vs. progressive resistance training.

Condition Intervention Phase
Mobility Limitations Aging Behavioral: InVEST (Increased Velocity Exercise Specific to Task) Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Ameliorating Disability Through Power Training

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institute on Aging (NIA):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Leg power
  • leg strength
  • mobility
  • endurance
  • balance measured at baseline, 8 weeks, and 16 weeks

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Disability

Estimated Enrollment: 160
Study Start Date: July 2001
Study Completion Date: September 2007
Primary Completion Date: September 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:

Muscle power, a separate physical attribute from strength, is an important determinate of physical functioning in the elderly, for example in avoiding impending falls, rising from a chair, and climbing stairs. Muscle power, which declines with aging at a different rate than strength, has been shown in previous studies to improve through power training utilizing specially designed exercise equipment. However, weighted vest exercise could provide an acceptable, low cost, readily accessible alternative.

The hypotheses being tested in this study are: 1) weighted vest exercise will improve lower extremity power when compared to age matched controls in a standardized progressive resistance training program; 2) improvements in lower extremity power enhance functional performance as shown by improved gait velocity, stair climbing, and chair rise time; and 3) weighted vest exercise in impaired older adults will improve self-reported function and disability.

One hundred sixty-four men and women ages 65 and older, with some physical limitation but able to climb stairs independently, will be randomized to one of two 16-week exercise programs. The intervention group will participate in a weighted vest exercise protocol, consisting of chair-based and stair-climbing exercise, while the control group will participate in a standardized progressive resistance training program. Participants in both programs will meet three times per week for 30-60 minutes per session, for a total of 16 weeks, at a research exercise gym, and will be under the direct supervision of research staff.


Ages Eligible for Study:   65 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Community dwelling men and women aged 65 or older
  • Ability to provide informed consent
  • Impairment in physical performance, based on a score between 4 and 10 inclusive on the SPPB (Short Physical Performance Battery), which evaluates standing balance, walking speed, and chair-rise time
  • Score of 24 or greater on the Folstein mini-mental status exam
  • Exhibit independent stair-climbing ability

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unstable acute or chronic disease
  • Neuromusculoskeletal impairment interfering with independent stair climbing
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Exertional angina
  • History of ventricular arrhythmia
  • Inguinal or abdominal hernia
  • Symptomatic valvular heart disease
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00158119

United States, Massachusetts
Spaulding Cambridge Outpatient Center
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, 02138
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital PM&R
Principal Investigator: Jonathan F. Bean, MD, MS Spaulding Cambridge Outpatient Center
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00158119     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AG0037
K23AG019663-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: September 7, 2005
Last Updated: July 23, 2010

Keywords provided by National Institute on Aging (NIA):
strength training
power training
exercise training
functional performance tasks

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Mobility Limitation
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on September 20, 2017