Aging and health

This research group is a collaboration between the Division of Physiotherapy and the Aging Research Center (ARC) at Karolinska Institutet.

Research focus

We study health in older adults, with special focus on physical function, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and injurious falls. Our research combines clinical studies (interventions and implementation research) with large population-based studies.

Our goals are to increase knowledge regarding:

  • Determinants and consequences of disability, physical inactivity, and injurious falls in older adults  
  • The effect of physical exercise interventions on functioning and health in old age
  • Implementation of evidence-based methods in clinical practice

Research projects

  • Early identification of older adults at risk for injurious falls—from observational studies to implementation
  • Social Health And Reserve in the Dementia patient journey (SHARED)
  • Preventing functional decline in acutely hospitalized older patients – effect of a simple exercise program versus individualized multicomponent training (PREV FUNC study)
  • Preventing functional decline in acutely hospitalized older adults – effect and process evaluation of a transitional care intervention

Group leader

Group members

Kristina Dalin Eriksson, PhD student

Nathalie Frisendahl, PhD 

Caroline Lager, PhD student

Linda Sandberg, postdoc

Christina Sandlund, affiliated researcher


We have ongoing collaboration with researchers at the following universities:

University of Padova, Italy

Radboudumc, the Netherlands

Erasmus MC Rotterdam, the Netherlands

University College London, UK

Lund University, Sweden

Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden

Financial support

Doctoral School in Health Care Sciences (FiV)


Konung Gustaf V:s och Drottning Victorias Frimurarestiftelse

Region Stockholm (ALF) Region Stockholm | Region Stockholm (

Region Stockholm (CIMED) Start - Centrum för innovativ medicin (

Strategic Research Area Health Care Science (SFO-V)

The Swedish Research Council

Österman Foundation

Selected scientific publications

The Association Between Injurious Falls and Older Adults' Cognitive Function: The Role of Depressive Mood and Physical Performance.
Trevisan C, Ripamonti E, Grande G, Triolo F, Ek S, Maggi S, Sergi G, Fratiglioni L, Welmer AK
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 08;76(9):1699-1706

Correlations of Subjective and Social Well-Being With Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity in Older Adults-A Population-Based Study.
Chen S, Calderón-Larrañaga A, Saadeh M, Dohrn IM, Welmer AK
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2021 09;76(10):1789-1795

Associations of pre-pandemic levels of physical function and physical activity with COVID-19-like symptoms during the outbreak.
Saadeh M, Calderón-Larrañaga A, Vetrano DL, von Rosen P, Fratiglioni L, Welmer AK
Aging Clin Exp Res 2021 Oct;():

Twelve-year sarcopenia trajectories in older adults: results from a population-based study.
Trevisan C, Vetrano DL, Calvani R, Picca A, Welmer AK
J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle 2021 Nov;():

Predictive Performance of the FIF Screening Tool in 2 Cohorts of Community-Living Older Adults.
Frisendahl N, Ek S, Rosendahl E, Boström AM, Fagerström C, Elmståhl S, et al
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2020 Jun;():

Device-measured sedentary behavior and physical activity in older adults differ by demographic and health-related factors.
Dohrn IM, Gardiner PA, Winkler E, Welmer AK
Eur Rev Aging Phys Act 2020 ;17():8

Impact of dopamine-related genetic variants on physical activity in old age - a cohort study.
Dohrn IM, Papenberg G, Winkler E, Welmer AK
Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2020 05;17(1):68

Predicting First-Time Injurious Falls in Older Men and Women Living in the Community: Development of the First Injurious Fall Screening Tool.
Ek S, Rizzuto D, Calderón-Larrañaga A, Franzén E, Xu W, Welmer AK
J Am Med Dir Assoc 2019 09;20(9):1163-1168.e3

Risk Factors for Injurious Falls in Older Adults: The Role of Sex and Length of Follow-Up.
Ek S, Rizzuto D, Fratiglioni L, Calderón-Larrañaga A, Johnell K, Sjöberg L, et al
J Am Geriatr Soc 2019 02;67(2):246-253

Impact of Social Network on the Risk and Consequences of Injurious Falls in Older Adults.
Trevisan C, Rizzuto D, Maggi S, Sergi G, Wang HX, Fratiglioni L, et al
J Am Geriatr Soc 2019 09;67(9):1851-1858

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