ReacStep Study

Researchers from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) are investigating the effects of a ReacStep Program on fall risk and cognition in older adults.

Study description/purpose

Decline in cognition and physical function often occurs simultaneously and increase falls risk in older people. Previous research has shown that step training reduces falls risk as well as improving cognition. Previous research has also shown that combining motor and cognitive training would induce greater cognitive improvements than individual motor or cognitive training.

Therefore, we have created ReacStep, a novel step training program with an added cognitive component. It requires minimal equipment and can be individually tailored to older adults with a range of physical functional levels.

This study aims to examine the effects of the ReacStep program on fall risk and cognitive function in older adults.

What’s involved

Eligible volunteers will be asked to attend at least two laboratory sessions at the Falls and Balance Research Laboratory at NeuRA (in Randwick) (i.e. once at baseline and again after 8 weeks) comprised of physical and cognitive assessments before they are randomly allocated into one of two groups. Both groups will be instructed by an exercise physiologist to complete a home-based strength training program, twice a week for 6 weeks.

Only one group will also be invited back to NeuRA to complete a ReacStep training program, once a week (45mins) for 6 weeks. The training program will involve the following:

Baseline Assessment (Visit 1 – up to 2 hours)

• Falls Risk and Cognitive Assessment

• Strength Training Session

Training Sessions (Visits 2 to 7 – up to 1.5 hours)

• ReacStep Training Session (if you have been randomised into the intervention group)

Reassessment (Visit 2 or 8, depending on randomisation – up to 2 hours)

• Falls Risk and Cognitive Assessment

• Trip & Slip Assessment

Additional Infromation

For a quick overview of the study, watch this video:

For a more detailed outline, read this Participant Information Statement, or register your interest here.

Recruitment criteria

We are looking for volunteers aged 65 years and over, who:

  • are living independently in the community
  • can walk 50 meters without a mobility aid or resting
  • have NO diagnosed neurological diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia, etc.)
  • have NO existing conditions that prevent exercise (e.g. severe pain, fatigue, exercise intolerance, heel ulcers, etc.)
  • have NOT been advised by a medical practitioner against exercise
  • have NO history of lower limb, pelvis or vertebral fracture(s) or joint replacement(s) in the past 6 months


Reimbursement for transport expenses, if requested. A set of 6 resistance bands will be given to all participants.

Study sponsor / funder

Research team contacts

ReacStep Team

02 9399 1067

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Register your interest

    Please sign up on Join Us here
    You need to be registerd to deterime if you quilify for the study