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Over the past decade a series of studies has been undertaken by Drs. King, Haskell, and other colleagues to identify optimal strategies for promoting healthful behaviors among middle- and older-aged adults, with the goal of decreasing chronic disease and enhancing functioning into the later years.

This series included the Stanford-Sunnyvale Health Improvement Project (SSHIP-I) – an NIH-funded, community-based three-year clinical trial that determined the effects of physical activity in 357 50- to 64-year-old men and women at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The two-year results demonstrated the effectiveness of telephone-supervised home-based physical activity regimens of either higher or lower intensity in promoting sustained physical activity adherence as well as positive changes in HDL-cholesterol levels. SSHIP-II was also funded by NIH and was a community-based three-year clinical trial evaluating the relative effectiveness of a one-year regimen of endurance + strength-training relative to stretching + flexibility exercises in promoting physical functioning and well-being among a sample of 103 women and men ages 65 years and older.

The Stanford Exercise and Sleep Study – a one-year randomized controlled trial funded by the AARP Andrus Foundation – studied the 4-month effects of increases in moderate-intensity physical activity on reported sleep quality among 43 initially sedentary older adults with moderate sleep complaints; the study demonstrated for the first time, using a controlled experimental design, the potentially positive effects of increases in moderate intensity exercise on sleep quality in older adults.

Finally, the Community Healthy Activities Model Program for Seniors (CHAMPS I and II) Projects – two NIH-funded three-year studies – evaluated the most efficacious strategies for promoting community-based physical activity participation among diverse groups of older adults. These studies were a collaboration between UCSF (Anita Stewart, Ph.D., P.I.) and Stanford (Dr. King, co-P.I.).

Read the informational brochure on Successful Aging (Adobe PDF).

Updated: 02.27.09

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