CCAA Research Activities

For more information about CCAA research activities contact CCAA Research Director, Dr. Don Paterson at

Basic Research

Basic research in the area of exercise and the aging process is conducted by faculty and students in the School of Kinesiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences.  Research laboratories are located in the Labatt Health Sciences Building dedicated to studies of cardiovascular and muscle metabolic exercise responses and to neuromuscular physiology and aging.

The CCAA current basic research is focused on studying:

  • The ways in which older individuals differ from young people in their physiological responses to exercise
  • The physiological limitations to exercise in older adults
  • The physiological and biochemical causes of muscle fatigue
  • Properties of muscle in the aged
  • Cardiovascular function and muscle metabolism
  • Adaptations with exercise training in older adults and physical activity guidelines


Applied Research

Applied Research research activities are the foundation of the CCAA’s community-based physical activity classes for seniors and the leadership training courses for individuals who work with the aging population.

Current Applied Research

Currently, applied research projects at the CCAA focus on the development of new leadership training programs and the expansion of existing programs.

  • Get Fit for Active Living! Getting and keeping older Canadian active! A CIHR funded demonstration project disseminating and formally evaluating the GFAL program across Canada.

Past Applied Research

Some of our past applied research projects include:

Project Descriptions

  • Expansion of Get Fit for Active Living Program
    • Funding from Manulife Financial allowed for the expansion of the GFAL into communities in northern Ontario and the Maritimes
  • Post Rehab Exercise for Stroke (PRES)
    • PRES a workshop designed to teach an outcome-based physical activity program designed specifically for post-rehab stroke survivors living in the community
  • Restorative Care Education and Training Intervention - developed an education and training package to train staff in long-term care facilities to design and implement an effective Restorative Care Program
  • Hip Fracture Interest Group - investigated evidence-based research related to the prevention, acute care and post acute care management of hip fractures.
  • Long-Term Care Exercise Research Project
    Lazowski, D.A., N.A. Ecclestone, A.M. Meyers, D.H. Peterson, C. Tudor-Locke, C.F. Fitzgerald, G. Jones, N. Shirma, DA Cunningham. A randomized outcome evaluation of group exercise programs in long-term care institutions. J. Gerontol. Med. Sci. M621-M628, 1999.
    • Investigated strategies to improve and maintain balance, strength and mobility of frail residents living in long-term care facilities
    • Developed the Long-term Care Physical Activity Workshop
    • Designed a low cost standardized exercise program for frail elderly called Functional Fitness in Long-term Care (FFLTC) now known as the Functional Fitness for Older Adults (FFOA)
  • Home Support Exercise Program (HSEP) development and expansion
    Tudor-Locke, C., A.M. Meyers, C.S. Jacob, J. Gareth, DA Lazowski, NA Ecclestone. Development and Formative Evaluation of the Centre for Activity and Ageing's Home Support Exercise Program for Frail Older Adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. 59-75, 2000.
    • Developed a low cost, simple and effective exercise program designed to assist frail older adults living in the community, to improve/maintain their current level of function to remain living independently
    • Developed the HSEP training package for workshops
    • Produced the Home Support Exercise Program Video
    • HSEP consists of 10 simple yet progressive exercises, designed to maintain functional mobility and quality of life of homebound older adults
    • HSEP is currently delivered through both formal (Home Care) and informal (caregivers, volunteers) networks
  • Osteoporosis Exercise Project
    • Designed an osteoporosis screening process and management program that can be adapted for various communities
    • Developed osteoporosis exercise guidelines
  • Nutrition Projects
    Developed and implemented nutrition programs for older adults to promote well-being
    • Included bi-annual nutrition appraisal for exercise participants at the CCAA
    • Developed a nutrition needs assessment and resource for:
      • immigrant seniors attending a program at the London InterCommunity Health Centre (collaborative effort between the Centre for Activity and Aging and Brescia College);
      • low-income seniors living in supportive housing (collaborative effort between the Centre for Activity and Ageing and Third Age Outreach and Senior Living)
      • bereaved older adults (collaborative effort between the Centre for Activity and Aging and Third Age Outreach)
    • Resources developed for this project
      • Nutrition and Physical Activity for Immigrant Older Adults: A resource manual for Educational Interventions. A. Garcia, CS Johnson
      • Older Adults, Ethnicity, Nutrition and Physical Activity: An annotated bibliography. A. Garcia, CS Johnson, N. Mitek (Lauzon), W. Collins
      • Nutrition information sessions as part of the "Third Outreach Senior's Health Promotion Series" directed at older adults in the community
      • Nutrition information sessions as part of an educational component, during the new Active Living Community Development Program.
  • Wellness Clinics – to promote fitness and well-being in rural communities
  • 10-Year Follow-Up Study
    • 1987 - 441 participants to determine facts that contribute to independence/dependence of older adults
    • 1995 and 1997 - 8 and 10 year follow-up studies.
  • Projects with First Nations Communities
    • In collaboration with The National Indian and Inuit Community Health Representative Organization (NICHRO) and the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults.
    • Collaborative projects to address the physical activity needs of frail older adult aboriginals.
    • Projects involved a diabetes needs assessment and participation in the HSEP
  • Applied Community Research - Third Age Outreach
    • Nutritional Health for Seniors: Resource Manual - This evidence-based nutritional resource manual is available to bereaved individuals, counsellors and social workers who work with seniors, medical personnel and any others who are involved in attempting to enhance the lives of older persons. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the manual contact The Canadian Centre of Activity and Aging at 661-1603.
  • Get Fit for Active Living Program (GFAL)
    • This program is an introduction to the benefits of physical activity and healthy lifestyles, and builds participants skills and knowledge through experiences in the gymnasium, weight room and education session.
  • Project to Prevent Falls in Veterans
    • Project addressed risk factors for falls in veterans living in Southwestern Ontario.
  • National Leadership Training Guidelines
    • Dissemination and Implementation of these guidelines for Physical Activity Programs Targeting Older Adults.
    • The CCAA led an initiative to develop leadership guidelines for physical activity leaders working with older adults in the community, home care and long-term care sectors.
    • Project involved the dissemination of these guidelines to organizations and provincial bodies across Canada

Also from this web page:


Don Paterson
Research Director

Also of interest:

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