The REACT Study

Project: Central government, health and local authorities

Project Details


Physical inactivity is one of the strongest predictors of physical disability in older adults. Older adults who remain fit and active are more likely to retain physical and cognitive function, avoid disease and disability, and enjoy independence, mental wellbeing and a higher quality of life.

Physical activity in the community
REACT is assessing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a community-based physical activity intervention for reducing, or reversing the progression of functional limitations in older people who are at high risk of mobility-related disability.

A 12-month intervention programme of group sessions incorporates cardiovascular, strength, coordination and flexibility exercises. Sessions are held twice-weekly in leisure centres or health clubs in the 'adoption phase' (weeks 1-12), and weekly in the 'maintenance phase' (weeks 13-52), with social engagement and enjoyment seen as priorities. The control group receives three social and education sessions over the two years of the study.

Trial details
REACT is a full-scale, pragmatic, multi-centre, randomised controlled trial with a 24-month follow-up, based on the successful US LIFE Study.

Between February 2016 and October 2017, REACT recruited 777 people over the age of 65 to take part in the new programme delivered in local community centres in Bath, Bristol, Birmingham and in Devon ensuring economic and ethnic diversity.

Further information about this research can be found on the REACT project website: 
Effective start/end date1/09/1531/05/21

Collaborative partners

  • University of Bath (lead)
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Exeter
  • University of the West of England
  • University of Oxford


  • National Institute for Health Research


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