Main aim: This proposed research will explore the role of sedentary behaviour and physical activity in the prevention, progression and/or treatment of frailty and sarcopenia in the ageing population. Sarcopenia is a progressive and generalised loss of muscle mass and muscle function with advancing age. This condition is associated with a range of health problems such as functional disability, falls, unplanned hospital admissions, poor quality of life, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and early death. Sarcopenia is related to the development of frailty, which is characterised by diminished strength, endurance, and physiologic function that increases vulnerability to dependency and death. Older adults are generally highly sedentary and engage in low levels of physical activity, which may be related to an increased risk of sarcopenia and frailty.
Objectives: This PhD programme will enhance our understanding of the relationship of sarcopenia and frailty with sedentary behaviour and physical activity levels with the intention of informing public health and clinical care guidelines to optimise the prevention and management of these conditions. The details of the proposal will be finalised with the PhD applicant. The proposed objectives are to:
- Systematically review evidence concerning the relationship of sarcopenia and frailty with sedentary behaviour and physical activity.
- Explore the combined effects of reduced sedentary behaviour and increased physical activity on sarcopenia and frailty risk and management.
- Develop and test an intervention to improve indicators of sarcopenia and frailty via reductions in sedentary behaviour and increased physical activity.
This project would be well suited to students with a background in sport, health and exercise sciences, physiotherapy, public health, healthcare, biomedical sciences, life sciences or related areas. An MSc qualification is essential. Please contact Dr Daniel Bailey for an informal discussion and guidance on how to move forward.