Keeping Fit and Fit to Drive: An Experimental Intervention to Explore the Impact of Physical Exercise on Older Adults' Driving

As the population ages, there has been an increased focus on the importance of maintaining physical wellness. A healthier older population yields both individual and societal benefits, but one of the individual benefits of improved health and wellness among older adults is the positive impact this may have on mobility - specifically on an older adult's ability to continue to drive safely. Previous research (e.g., Marotolli et al.) has found that older adults who have had to stop driving experience increased levels of depression, and other work in driver rehabilitation has shown that individuals with specific physical problems may retain or regain safe driving through a program of physical therapy or other exercises. The researchers propose an experimental intervention to examine the impact of physical exercise on older adults' safe driving behaviors. The work will draw on a community-dwelling sample of older adults, some of whom will be asked to take part in physical exercise regularly as part of, for example, a Wii fitness exercise program. The research will provide insight into the effects of physical exercise on specific safe driving behaviors - their driving capacity or skills and abilities, as well as older adults' comfort and confidence while driving. Data from the study will be used to contribute to the work on older adults, driving and physical fitness, and to inform and educate members of the public about the role of physical exercise and wellness in maintaining their ability to continue to drive with safety, comfort and confidence.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:



    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Principal Investigators:

      DAmbrosio, Lisa

    • Start Date: 20100901
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20120831
    • Source Data: RiP Project 29312

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01480746
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: New England University Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: DTRT07-G-0001, MITR23-2
    • Files: UTC, RiP
    • Created Date: May 7 2013 1:01AM