ABLE: Arts-Based exercise enabling LongEvity

What is ABLE?

ABLE, Arts-Based exercise enabling LongEvity, puts a unique spin on interactive technology for exercise by taking advantage of the therapeutic effects of art and music. ABLE responds to movement, tracked through a discrete wireless insole, and creates a painting and musical tune as a reward.

Why do we need ABLE?

The ABLE study team aims to revolutionize at home exercise by making it fun and engaging. Older adults referred to home care physiotherapy often only see their physiotherapist three to five times and are prescribed at home exercises. Blending art, music, and fitness, the team is developing an easy-to-use app with the goal of helping older adults stick to the at home exercise plans prescribed to them by their physiotherapist.

How is ABLE different?

Interactive technology has been shown to increase participation in at home exercises and improve strength and balance. However, ABLE will be the first study to investigate the effectiveness of interactive technology for exercise for frail, older adults.​​

What are the aims of the study?

The study aims to see if ABLE can help 25 older adult participants exercise at home over a three-month period. A physiotherapist will visit the older adults three times in their homes and show them how to use ABLE and which exercises to do. The older adult’s strength and balance with be measured both before and after using the program. Feedback on ABLE from the participants themselves, along with their family members, will be collected. The results of this study will help determine if a bigger study should be done to test the effectiveness of ABLE in a larger group of older adults, and to further explore the effects of ABLE on strength and balance. This study would also incorporate the valuable feedback from older adults and their families to improve ABLE design and function.

Study team:

GERAS, Centre for Aging Research.