Generation 100: Does exercise prolong life in the elderly?

Generation 100 is an exercise study following more than 1500 women and men in their 70s for five years. We aim to find out if exercise can give the elderly a longer and healthier life, and we also compare the effect of moderate and high-intensity exercise. The study is the largest of its kind, and the five-year testing of the participants was completed this summer. Several scientic papers have already been published from the project.

Background for the study

Demographic data indicate tripling of the population aged 60 years or older by the year 2050. Thus, research on how to achieve healthy aging is needed and required.

Generation 100 is the largest randomized clinical study that evaluates the effect of regular exercise training on morbidity and mortality in elderly people. Inclusion of the participants in Generation 100 started in 2012. Since then, a total of 1567 participants have been randomized to either five years of supervised exercise training, or to a control group. The exercise group was further randomized to either two weekly sessions of high intensity training or to moderate intensity training consisting. The control group was instructed to follow physical activity advice according to national recommendations.

Clinical examinations, as well as questionnaires, are administered to all participants at baseline, at one year (2013/2014), three year (2015/2016), and five year follow up (2017/2018). In light of the aging population, our data will contribute to an improved understanding on how older persons can achieve more, active years in better health. If proven beneficial, exercise as “medicine” will be a relatively cheap, accessible and available treatment that can benefit a large proportion of the population.

Read the full research article describing the Generation 100 study in BMJ Open:
A randomised controlled study of the long-term effects of exercise training on mortality in elderly people: study protocol for the Generation 100 study

List of scientific publications from Generation 100


Reitlo, L. S., Sandbakk, S. B., Viken, H., Aspvik, N. P., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Tan, X., Wisløff, U., & Stensvold, D. (2018). Exercise patterns in older adults instructed to follow moderate-or high-intensity exercise protocol–the generation 100 studyBMC Geriatrics, 18(1), 208.

Viken, H., Reitlo, L. S., Zisko, N., Nauman, J., Aspvik, N. P., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Wisløff, D., & Stensvold, D. (2018). Predictors of Dropout in Exercise Trials in Older AdultsMedicine and science in sports and exercise.

Aspvik, N. P., Viken, H., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Zisko, N., Mehus, I., Wisløff, U., & Stensvold, D. (2018). Do weather changes influence physical activity level among older adults?–The Generation 100 studyPloS one, 13(7), e0199463.


Stensvold, D., Sandbakk, S. B., Viken, H., Zisko, N., Reitlo, L. S., Nauman, J., Gaustad, S. E., Hassel, E., Moufack, M., Brønstad, E., Aspvik, N. P., Malmo, V., Steinshamn, S. L., Støylen, A., Anderssen, S. A., Helbostad, J. L., Rognmo, Ø, & Wisløff, U. (2017). Cardiorespiratory Reference Data in Older Adults: The Generation 100 StudyMedicine and science in sports and exercise, 49(11), 2206.

Sandbakk, S. B., Nauman, J., Lavie, C. J., Wisløff, U., & Stensvold, D. (2017). Combined Association of Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Body Fatness With Cardiometabolic Risk Factors in Older Norwegian Adults: The Generation 100 StudyMayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes, 1(1), 67-77.

Zisko, N., Nauman, J., Sandbakk, S. B., Aspvik, N. P., Salvesen, Ø., Carlsen, T., Viken, H., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Wisløff, U., & Stensvold, D. (2017). Absolute and relative accelerometer thresholds for determining the association between physical activity and metabolic syndrome in the older adults: The Generation-100 study. BMC geriatrics, 17(1), 109.

Hassel, E., Stensvold, D., Halvorsen, T., Wisløff, U., Langhammer, A., & Steinshamn, S. (2017). Lung function parameters improve prediction of VO2peak in an elderly population: The Generation 100 studyPloS one, 12(3), e0174058.

Egerton, T., Paterson, K., & Helbostad, J. L. (2017). The association between gait characteristics and ambulatory physical activity in older people: a cross-sectional and longitudinal observational study using generation 100 dataJournal of aging and physical activity, 25(1), 10-19.


Aspvik, N. P., Viken, H., Zisko, N., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Wisløff, U., & Stensvold, D. (2016). Are Older Adults Physically Active Enough–A Matter of Assessment Method? The Generation 100 StudyPloS one, 11(11), e0167012.

Sandbakk, S. B., Nauman, J., Zisko, N., Sandbakk, Ø., Aspvik, N. P., Stensvold, D., & Wisløff, U. (2016, November). Sedentary Time, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Cardiovascular Risk Factor Clustering in Older Adults--the Generation 100 Study. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 91, No. 11, pp. 1525-1534). Elsevier.

Egerton, T., Helbostad, J. L., Stensvold, D., & Chastin, S. F. (2016). Fatigue alters the pattern of physical activity behavior in older adults: observational analysis of data from the generation 100 studyJournal of aging and physical activity, 24(4), 633-641.

Viken, H., Aspvik, N. P., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Zisko, N., Wisløff, U., & Stensvold, D. (2016). Correlates of objectively measured physical activity among Norwegian older adults: the Generation 100 StudyJournal of aging and physical activity, 24(3), 369-375.

Egerton, T., Chastin, S. F., Stensvold, D., & Helbostad, J. L. (2015). Fatigue may contribute to reduced physical activity among older people: An observational studyJournals of Gerontology Series A: Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences, 71(5), 670-676.


Hassel, E., Stensvold, D., Halvorsen, T., Wisløff, U., Langhammer, A., & Steinshamn, S. (2015). Association between pulmonary function and peak oxygen uptake in elderly: the Generation 100 studyRespiratory research, 16(1), 156.

Zisko, N., Carlsen, T., Salvesen, Ø., Aspvik, N. P., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Wisløff, U., & Stensvold, D. (2015). New relative intensity ambulatory accelerometer thresholds for elderly men and women: the Generation 100 studyBMC geriatrics, 15(1), 97.

Stensvold, D., Viken, H., Rognmo, Ø., Skogvoll, E., Steinshamn, S., Vatten, L. J., Coombes, J. S., Anderssen, S. A., Magnussen, J., Ingebrigtsen, J. E., Singh, M. A. F., Langhammer, A., Støylen, A., Helbostad, J-, K., & Wisløff, U. (2015). A randomised controlled study of the long-term effects of exercise training on mortality in elderly people: study protocol for the Generation 100 studyBMJ open, 5(2), e007519.


Egerton, T., Thingstad, P., & Helbostad, J. L. (2014). Comparison of programs for determining temporal-spatial gait variables from instrumented walkway data: PKmas versus GAITRiteBMC research notes, 7(1), 542.

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