SuPA Mobility: Supporting Physical Activity for Older Adults with Limited Mobility

Health Research BC is providing match funds for the Canadian Training Platform for Trial Leveraging Existing Networks (CAN-TAP-TALENT) Post-Doctoral Fellowship Award 2023. 


Dr. Jordyn Rice, PT, DPT, PhD is a post-doctoral fellow in the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Health Lab, working under the supervision of Professor Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging.  


The SuPA Mobility Trial is a Vancouver based randomized controlled trial using a health coaching intervention aimed to promote physical activity in older adults with limited mobility.  


As individuals age​,​ they have a greater risk of limited mobility, or difficulty in getting around safely in one’s environment. Limited mobility is linked to illness, disease, and decreased quality of life in older adults. Supervised group exercise that increases physical activity by only 6 minutes per day has been shown to have beneficial effects on mobility. However, supervised exercise programs may be difficult to accomplish on a large scale due to the significant resources needed to manage such programs.   


This research will evaluate: 1) the effectiveness of a 26-week health coaching program to  increase physical activity in older adults with limited mobility by at least 50 minutes per week​;​​ and 2) differences between health coaching compared to a control group on overall activity level, walking speed, cognition or thinking ability, mood, and quality of life.    


Increasing physical activity through the use of health coaching has the potential to improve mobility ​in aging​ adults with limited mobility. The results of this study will be used to provide future guidance on physical exercise programs for older adults that may be deliverable on a broader scale.