These case studies are to show you how real people have changed their health status drastically by introducing moderate intensity exercise into their life.



Jim is 77 and until some poor health he was a Kung Fu expert. Jim had lung surgery and was referred by his doctor for exercise rehabilitation.

After his recent operation, Jim had started leaning to his right side, the side of the surgery,  had lost a lot of weight, suffered from muscle weakness and was struggling with walking and balance. A photo was taken of Jim’s posture at his initial assessment.

Jim’s prescribed exercise program was initially to address his posture which was affecting his balance, due to his slump to the right. His program contained 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, upper body strengthening to address the muscle weaknesses in his upper back and pectorals. See the photos below to see the changes after 4 sessions, he still has some way to go but he is seeing improvements.

   Initial assessment                               4 session later

To address his new problem with balance, Jim now follows the LIFE program, which requires him to integrate as many prescribed balance activities into his daily routine as often as possible. Analysis of the existing studies shows that exercise programs which challenge balance, have a 25% greater effect on preventing falls than programs which do not challenge balance (Sherrington, Lord & Close, 2008).

In order to improve balance the dose needs to exceed 50 hours over 6 months. This equates to half an hour per day, every day. The only way to do this is to incorporate balance into the day, for example whilst waiting for a kettle to boil or tandem walking down corridors.

Jim is now a regular attendee at the gym. His goal is to increase his body mass, continue to strengthen his body and improve his balance.


Sherrington C, Whitney J, Lord S, Herbert R, Cumming R, Close J. (2008) Effective exercise for the prevention of falls – a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of American Geriatriatric Society, Epub ahead of print 31 Oct.

Higgins J, Green S. Cochrane (2005). Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions 4.2.5. The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2005. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2005.