Physical Performance Across the Lifespan (PALS)

miriam morey
Miriam C. Morey, PhD

The Physical Performance Across the Lifespan Study (PALS), a cohort of the MURDOCK Study, successfully closed out enrollment and provides an important basis for our understanding of the physical, environmental, and genetic factors which, over a typical lifespan, contribute to age-related changes in physical and cognitive capabilities. The PALS cohort enrolled 1,000 MURDOCK Study participants ages 30 and older who live in eligible zip codes

A paper announcing initial findings from this study has drawn significant attention, appearing in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences and generating extensive media attention, including articles in the Wall Street Journal and USAToday. Researchers have discovered that physical declines begin sooner in life than typically detected, according to the paper’s lead author Katherine Hall, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Duke. Information for the paper, “Physical Performance Across the Adult Life Span: Correlates With Age and Physical Activity,” was gathered from 775 of the study participants.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Miriam Morey

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Harvey Cohen

harvey cohen
Harvey Cohen, MD

Investigators at Duke also have found that most of the cohort function physically better than norms among other populations. Researchers have begun evaluating data from the stored blood samples of participants, and visit 2 continues for participants who have not completed follow-up assessments yet.

Study requirements included a blood sample; a medical questionnaire about general health; brief physical and cognitive assessments; wearing an accelerometer to measure activity levels for seven days following enrollment; and a follow-up visit after two years with an additional blood sample and physical and cognitive assessments.


MURDOCK Study Data Show Physical Declines Begin Earlier Than Expected

What You Can Do in Your 20s and 30s to Prevent Physical Decline in Your 50s and 60s (

Adults over 50 lose their footing as their balance declines (USA Today)

NC mill town once made sheets and towels. Now it draws volunteers for medical research.

MURDOCK study and more