Effectiveness of Resistance Training on Resilience in Hong Kong Chinese Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • CHUNG, Pak-Kwong (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress (American Psychological Association, 2004). There is sufficient evidence showing strong association between resilience and self-rated successful aging (Jeste et al., 2013; Wagnild, 2003). Resilience plays a critical role when older adults face the daily stress that comes from physical and mental loss with advancing age (e.g., changes in cognitive functioning, aging-related degradations in physical fitness), dysfunctional relationships with family members, increased isolation from society, and even the impact of extreme weather conditions (Yeung & Fung, 2007). Considering the significant meaning of resilience to older adults’ daily life, promotion of resilience among older adults is certainly worthy of lucubration. The promotion is even more urgent to Hong Kong given that one in three people will be 65 years old or above by 2036 (Census and Statistics Department, 2017).

Among the various influential factors on resilience, health-related lifestyles and higher functionality of individuals are identified as having strong associations with high resilience (Hardy et al., 2004). Moreover, regular exercise and/or physical activity (PA) has been found to be the key mediator within these associations (Silverman & Deuster, 2014). Strength training was found to increase muscle strength by increasing muscle mass, and by improving the recruitment of motor units as well as increasing their firing rate in older adults. It was recommended that healthy old people should train 3 or 4 times weekly for the best results (Mayer et al, 2011). In a preliminary review, Windle (2012) found a lack of publications that had adopted an intervention design in the studies of resilience in older adults. He further recommended that studies employing randomized controlled trial (RCT) design with specific intervention strategies as well as less robust evaluation using controlled trials should be conducted. MacLeod and colleagues (2016) also found that the resilience interventions targeting older adults generally were not exist. They also found no tested interventions incorporating physical activity to build resilience among older adults, despite research suggesting that PA is an important factor of resilience. Based on the above comments of Windle (2012) and MacLeod and colleagues (2016), as well as the potential benefits of strength training contributes to the older people as indicated by Mayer and colleagues (2011), the current study aims to examine the effectiveness of resistance training on resilience among Chinese older adults in Hong Kong adopting a RCT design.
Effective start/end date1/01/2030/09/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.