Exercise Snacking to Improve Strength and STability: ESISST Pilot Study (ESSIST)


University of Bath




Acceptability of an Exercise Intervention


Behavioral: Exercise Snacking

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


As we age, muscles can become progressively weaker to the point that tasks of daily living cannot be carried out safely. However, regular resistance exercise training has been shown to maintain and even increase muscle strength in older adults. Previous research has identified a homebased, non-loaded, lower limb only, 'exercise snacking' model that does not require exercise equipment or supervision as a viable alternative exercise strategy to traditional resistance exercise, with potential to improve leg muscle strength in healthy older adults. This approach has been shown to be feasible and acceptable to general healthy older adult population, however this approach to exercise focussed on improving strength has not been considered in a clinical population. This research seeks to investigate the acceptability of 28 days of homebased exercise snacking in outpatients with attending the memory clinic at the Research Institute for Care of the Elderly (RICE) Centre in Bath, UK, with diagnosis limited to mild cognitive impairment only. This study will improve understanding of how zero-cost exercise strategies to potentially improve muscle function and delay frailty could be incorporated in daily routines of older adults.

Full description

Potential participants will be identified by clinicians during memory clinic outpatient appointments at the Research Institute for Care of the Elderly (RICE) in Bath. Clinicians will provide a brief overview of the study, and the Participant Information sheet to those individuals interested in participating. Potential participants will then be contacted by the researcher at RICE to arrange a screening meeting. This will be a face-to-face meeting, taking place at RICE. Potential participants are invited to bring carers to this meeting. At the screening meeting, a verbal overview of the study will be provided by the researcher and written informed consent must be provided by the potential participant after they have had chance to ask questions about the study. A health screen questionnaire will be completed, and basic cognitive and physical function tests will be undertaken to assess participant eligibility. Participants passing these tests will be invited to participate. Eligible participants will be asked to complete questionnaires and undertake further tests of physical function, including a thorough practice of the exercise intervention. The baseline assessment will take place during the same visit as the screening meeting. If the researcher believes that performance in these baseline physical function tests indicates that it would not be safe for the participant to continue in the study, then then will be withdrawn at that point. All participants will be asked to undertake 28 consecutive days of exercise snacking. This involves two bouts of exercise per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening. Each bout will consist of five exercises, with each exercise performed for 60 seconds only, followed by 60 seconds of rest, before performing the next exercise. The exercises require no specialist equipment or clothing but must only be performed when there is someone else in the house that would be capable of calling for help in the event of an emergency. Participants will be provided with a logbook to record information about each exercise bout, and an appendix document with detailed instruction on how to perform exercise snacking. Participants will also be asked to wear a physical activity monitor for the first seven days of exercise snacking, and to return this in a pre-paid and addressed envelope after this period of wear. Participants will be invited to the RICE centre within five days completing the exercise snacking intervention to complete the same questionnaires and physical function tests that were undertaken at the baseline assessment. A further questionnaire exploring the acceptability of the exercise snacking intervention will be completed. Participants will also be invited to undertake a qualitative interview with the researcher to gain further insight into the participant's experience of the intervention.


21 patients




65+ years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Aged >65 years
  • Have attended the Memory Clinic at the RICE Centre in Bath
  • Mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score of ≥20
  • Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score 3-8 and not scoring 0 on any component of the test
  • Capability to safely perform the exercise snacking movements, assessed by a researcher during screening, and be able to have someone present in the home who could call for help if required during all exercise snacks.
  • Not regularly engaging in recreational sports or structured exercise (once a week or more).
  • Have a foreseeable clear period of 28 consecutive days in which to perform the exercise snacking protocol (i.e. no planned holidays or hospitalisation)

Exclusion criteria

  • Co-morbidity preventing participation (e.g. severe breathlessness, pain, psychosis, Parkinson's, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, or other severe neurological disease)
  • Individuals with a history of bone, joint or neuromuscular problems or a current musculoskeletal injury ascertained through preliminary screening that would prevent exercise snacking or be made worse by performing exercise snacking.
  • Individuals with contraindications to exercise including chest pain, dizziness, or loss of consciousness, or who have been instructed by their doctor to only do physical activity recommended by them.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

21 participants in 1 patient group

Exercise Snacking Group
Experimental group
For 28 days, this group will be asked to perform two 'exercise snacks' a day; once in the morning and once in the evening, and record exercise snacking compliance data in a log book
Behavioral: Exercise Snacking

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

Clinical trials

Find clinical trialsTrials by location
© Copyright 2024 Veeva Systems