Exercise Benchmarking

Benchmarking Exercise Programmes for Older People (BEPOP) : Improving exercise interventions for older people with sarcopenia and frailty

A nationwide benchmarking and feedback initiative for service development.


What is the exercise benchmarking initiative?

It is a new nationwide service improvement project, funded by the British Geriatrics Society (BGS) and run in collaboration between the AGE Research group at Newcastle University, the British Geriatrics Society and AGILE (a professional network of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists)

The initiative aims to drive development and uptake of best practice for exercise interventions for older people living with sarcopenia and frailty in the UK.

Why focus on sarcopenia and frailty?

Sarcopenia, a reduction in muscle strength and function, and the related syndrome of physical frailty, are common conditions affecting many older people. They cause falls, fractures, and lengthy hospital admissions, increase dependence and worsen quality of life. A growing body of evidence supports resistance exercise training as a safe and effective intervention for sarcopenia and frailty. However, recent UK surveys of current practice have found that resistance training was offered in only 9% of departments delivering exercise interventions to older people.

Debate continues as to the best way to deliver evidence-based exercise training for older people with sarcopenia and frailty. How many sessions are needed? How frequent should sessions be? How should progress be measured and exercise intensity increased? What modes of exercise work best? Previous UK surveys of practice have found great variation in all of these aspects of exercise programme delivery

How will this benchmarking initiative help to improve care?

This benchmarking initiative takes advantage of this variation. By collecting information from practitioners across many sites, we will be able to find out which characteristics of exercise programmes are associated with the best outcomes for patients. And by feeding this information back to practitioners – both by overall reports but also through tailored, personalised benchmarking reports to each practitioner, our healthcare community will be able to rapidly optimise the exercise programmes that we deliver – ensuring that our older patients get the outcomes that they deserve.

How do I take part?

Please download our Frequently Asked Questions  Then simply complete the expression of interest form below. Tell us a little about yourself, where you work, and your current practice. Our team will then get in touch with you as the project gets started.