How does physical activity affect age-related changes in gait and muscle function?

The biomechanics laboratory at UMass Amherst is recruiting volunteers for a study about the effects of age and exercise on walking and muscle function. We hope to learn about how changes in muscle function with age are related to the onset of disability.

We are currently looking for men and women aged 55-70 who either participate in fewer than 150 minutes of planned exercise per week OR who are runners. Individuals should meet the following criteria:

 Healthy body weight

 No history of reconstructive surgery of the legs

 No major health issues (heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, neurological disease, etc.)

 Able to walk for 30 minutes

 No contraindications to MRI (metal implant, claustrophobia, etc.)

The study consists of two visits: one 3-hour visit to the biomechanics lab on the UMass Amherst campus and one 1-hour visit to an MRI facility in Amherst. During the lab visit we will collect data on how your joints move as you walk over the ground and on a treadmill. We will also collect data on the strength of the muscles in your thigh. MRI will consist of a scan of the muscles in your thigh. All procedures are non-invasive. Participants will receive $25.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Jocelyn at or 413-545-4421.

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