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Physical mobility and a healthy amount of exercise are important at any age, especially because a lack of exercise has a negative impact on health. Fitness and safe mobility are particularly important for older people, especially since falls in old age are associated with a high risk of injury. Although there are numerous programs to maintain and improve strength, balance and physical activity, these are not always widely available in rural areas and are difficult to reach, especially for older people.
Objectives and procedure
ABSCHaLoM aims to close this gap by training trainers who, together with local authorities, clubs and associations, will help to establish a nationwide range of exercise courses in the new German states. The program is based on evidence-based training and consists of a "conventional" and a "tele" module. In both modules, participants learn strength and balance exercises in nine sessions. In the tele-module, on-site sessions are gradually replaced by virtual sessions that are delivered in real time and are interactive. Guidance on self-training at home is an important component. In the tele-module, participants receive access to an application with the option of individual training control. Another optional offering is live virtual demonstrations to participate in. This access is also used for advice on nutrition and safety in the home environment. A three-arm randomized controlled trial will test whether and to what extent the two modules help prevent falls and fall-related injuries and improve motor functionality and physical activity. For this purpose, participants will be randomly assigned to the tele-movement group, the conventional movement group, or the control group. In total, more than 2,700 people aged 70 to 90 years will participate in the study.
Innovations and perspectives
If successful, the results will help to further develop the GKV-Spitzenverband's prevention guidelines and enable more physical activity programs in rural areas. They can also be used to further develop existing digital physical activity offerings in a way that is appropriate for the target group.