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About the WHISH Study

What is the WHISH study?

The Women’s Health Initiative Strong and Healthy (WHISH) is a trial within the large  Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Extension Study, which, was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in 2015. It is testing whether increasing physical activity (e.g. moving more, sitting less) will reduce heart disease and stroke in older women. WHISH is led by Dr. Marcia Stefanick from Stanford University, Dr. Andrea LaCroix from the University of California, San Diego, and Dr. Charles Kooperberg from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (WHI Coordinating Center)  in Seattle.

How many WHI women are in the WHISH physical activity group?

Nearly 22,000 WHI participants from across the U.S. are receiving the WHISHphysical activity materials which include seasonal WHISHful Action newsletters, the National Instititues on Aging (NIA) Go4Life® Exercise & Physical Activity Everyday Guide, designed for adults aged 65 and older, monthly motivation messages by telephone, electronic mail, or regular post, and the materials posted on the WHISH website.

What are WHISH participants asked to do?

The WHISHparticipants who receive the physical activity information are encouraged to sit less and move more, including walking more or doing more endurance-focused activities, as well as doing upper and lower body strengthening exercises and activities that improve balance and flexibility. WHISH has provided participants with pedometers and resistance bands and special physical activity tracking tools, such as activity logs/calendars, a website tracking program and an interactive voice system which they are encouraged to use, if tracking helps motivate them. The main goal is to be as physically active as is reasonable, with respect to their health and physical function status and time availability.