Aging and health – Welmer's research group

We study health in older adults, with special focus on physical function, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and injurious falls.

Illustration: Kristina Dalin Eriksson.

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, qualitative studies, 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

Read more about our research projects under the "Projects" tab. 


We have ongoing collaboration with researchers at the following universities:

  • University of Ferrara, Italy. 
  • Radboudumc, the Netherlands
  • Erasmus MC Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • University College London, UK
  • Lund University, Sweden
  • Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research, Spain
  • Maynooth University, Ireland

News and activities


Selected publications



Staff and contact

Group leader

All members of the group

Visiting address

Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Alfred Nobels allé 23, B3, Huddinge, SE-141 83, Sweden

Postal address

Karolinska Institutet, Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Physiotherapy 23100, Huddinge, SE-141 83, Sweden


Preventing functional decline in acutely hospitalized older patients (PREV_FUNC) study 

The research project focuses on participants aged 75 years or older, recruited from geriatric medical wards across three hospitals in Stockholm. 

  • A three-armed randomized controlled trial investigates the effect of two multicomponent exercise programs on physical function
  • Exploring the experiences of patients and healthcare professionals regarding the 
    interventions using qualitative studies


Study protocol for the 'preventing functional decline in acutely hospitalised older patients (PREV_FUNC)' study: effects of two multicomponent exercise programmes on physical function - a three-armed randomised controlled trial.
Welmer AK, Sandberg L, Sandlund C, Björck C, Hagströmer M, Hamilton J, Helgstrand G, Lindgren C, Nordstrand L, Sandstedt P, Kivipelto M, Boström AM
BMJ Open 2023 Aug;13(8):e070885

Harmful sitting in old age—using epidemiological and qualitative approaches to tailor future interventions

  • Quantifying the associations between various movement behaviors (e.g. step count and sitting time) and several critical outcomes, including mortality risk, health changes, and incident injurious falls 
  • Exploring older adults’ perceptions regarding the factors that influence sitting 
    time and engagement in physical activity

Identifying older adults at risk for falls: from observation to implementation

This research project investigates risk factors for injurious falls in older adults.

  • Testing a falls screening tool for older adults in primary care and memory clinics
  • Falls prediction based on risk factors and exploring implementation prerequisites 
    for a screening tool

Student engagement in doctoral education

  • Studies on active pedagogical methods and student engagement in doctoral courses
  • Describing experiences of teachers and students
Accidental Falls Aging Exercise Geriatrics Physical Functional Performance Physical Therapists Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Physiotherapy Primary Prevention Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Secondary Prevention Show all
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