Exercise and Weight loss for Knee Pain (POWER)


This randomised controlled trial is comparing the effects of diet and exercise compared with exercise only on knee osteoarthritis symptoms and weight loss. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups. Participants will have 6 Zoom consultations online with a physiotherapist over six months and will be asked to an exercise program at home. Some participants will also be asked to go onto a specific diet including meal replacement products. All participants will be asked to:

  • Have 6 online Zoom consultations with a physiotherapist over 6 months,
  • Participate in a 6-month strengthening exercise program prescribed by the physiotherapist
  • Participant in a very low calorie ketogenic diet including meal replacements if allocated to the diet and exercise group, OR continue current dietary habits if allocated to the exercise only group.
  • Attend the University of Melbourne 2 times; at the beginning of the program and after 6 months for a physical testing session involving some walking, strength and stair climbing tests and body weight and height recording.

You may be eligible if you:

  • live in metropolitan Melbourne;
  • are aged between 45 to 80 years old;
  • have had knee pain (pain on most days of the past three months);
  • be above a healthy weight (we calculate this as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 27 kg/m2 and body weight less than 150kg)
  • be willing to follow advice for self-management, which may include exercise, physical activity and/or a very low-calorie diet weight loss program including meal replacements if it forms part of your study treatment program.

Status of project: Recruitment completed

Download the Statistical Analysis Plan

Personal exercise items

POWER was designed and developed by researchers (Prof Kim Bennell, Dr Sarah Jones, Dr Kim Allison, and Prof Rana Hinman) at the University of Melbourne. This project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council.