Study to put online and in-person exercise classes to the test

The project will see volunteers over 50 take part in different types of keep fit classes.

Online exercise classes have been a regular way to keep fit for many of us during the pandemic. 

Now a new scientific study is under way to discover how they compare to more traditional face to face keep fit sessions.

The findings could help shape cardiac care across the world.

The project is part of a partnership between sports charity High Life Highland and researchers at the University of the Highlands and Islands. 

Volunteers over 50 with low to moderate levels of physical activity have been taking part in the study by putting classes to the test at home and in person. 

The researchers are due to present findings from a previous similar study at a major health conference in Arizona.

It’s hoped this exercise putting online classes to the test could help shape cardiac health care across the globe.

HLH head of health and wellbeing Lynn Bauermeister said: “There can be various barriers to physical activity and HLH is keen to better understand if offering online exercise classes can help to overcome some of these barriers. 

“We started running online classes due to the pandemic and they remain popular so it will be interesting to understand in more detail if or how online classes differ from face-to-face classes

in terms of people’s experiences from participating.” 

The study, involving a mix of stretching, aerobic and resistance activities, is being carried out by the University’s Division of Biomedical Sciences and Department of Nursing and Midwifery. 

Dr Matthew Fraser, a postdoctoral researcher at the university, said: “It is a really exciting study which looks to build on previous work which we conducted last year which investigated the role of online exercise classes.  

“It is also a great chance for members of the public to get a taster into both styles of class for free.” 

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