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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Physical activity and nutrition program for seniors (PANS): protocol of a randomized controlled trial

Linda Burke12*, Jonine Jancey12, Peter Howat12, Andy Lee12, Deborah Kerr12, Trevor Shilton13, Andrew Hills4 and Annie Anderson5

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health, Curtin University, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia

2 Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer Control, Curtin University, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, WA 6845, Australia

3 National Heart Foundation, Western Australia Division, 334 Rokeby Road, Subiaco, WA 6008, Australia

4 Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove QLD 4001, Australia

5 Centre for Public Health Nutrition Research, University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:751  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-751

Published: 6 December 2010



Along with reduced levels of physical activity, older Australian's mean energy consumption has increased. Now over 60% of older Australians are considered overweight or obese. This study aims to confirm if a low-cost, accessible physical activity and nutrition program can improve levels of physical activity and diet of insufficiently active 60-70 year-olds.


This 12-month home-based randomised controlled trial (RCT) will consist of a nutrition and physical activity intervention for insufficiently active people aged 60 to 70 years from low to medium socio-economic areas. Six-hundred participants will be recruited from the Australian Federal Electoral Role and randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 300) and control (n = 300) groups. The study is based on the Social Cognitive Theory and Precede-Proceed Model, incorporating voluntary cooperation and self-efficacy. The intervention includes a specially designed booklet that provides participants with information and encourages dietary and physical activity goal setting. The booklet will be supported by an exercise chart, calendar, bi-monthly newsletters, resistance bands and pedometers, along with phone and email contact. Data will be collected over three time points: pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention and 6-months post-study.


This trial will provide valuable information for community-based strategies to improve older adults' physical activity and dietary intake. The project will provide guidelines for appropriate sample recruitment, and the development, implementation and evaluation of a minimal intervention program, as well as information on minimising barriers to participation in similar programs.

Trial Registration

Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000735257