Over 65s to ‘exercise right’ in research program - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Over 65s to ‘exercise right’ in research program

5 Feb 2020

A USC academic will contribute to an Australia-wide research project that aims to increase weekly exercise in people over the age of 65.

Associate Professor in Clinical Exercise Physiology Sue Broadbent will run pool-based exercise classes at USC’s new aquatic facility as part of the Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) ‘Exercise Right for Active Ageing’ project.

“The national project aims to provide 15,000 older Australians the opportunity to have access to subsidised exercise classes to improve their overall health and wellbeing,” Dr Broadbent said.

“USC’s new 25m recovery pool will be used for local classes as part of the project, which is an exciting use of the facility as a rehabilitation tool for general health, not just for sporting injuries in elite athletes,” she said.

Dr Broadbent will collect initial data from all local participants who sign up to the program and monitor their progress over 12 weeks.

“I’ll be recording general health factors like blood pressure and hand grip strength as well as several other functional mobility and balance tests before starting the weekly classes at the pool,” she said.

“That information will help provide ESSA with a snapshot of the general health of over 65s in each state.

“While the Sunshine Coast is home to a lot of fitter, older residents, we know there are some people who have reached a certain age and believe it’s unsafe for them to exercise or have a condition they think makes them unable to be active.

“We hope this program supports renewed awareness and education around exercise and the benefits of regular engagement in sport and physical activity.”

The program is supported through a Sport Australia Better Ageing Grant.

Residents who are over 65 and interested in taking part in weekly discounted exercise classes can visit www.exerciseright.com.au to sign up. For more information, contact Professor Broadbent on sbroadbe@usc.edu.au or (07) 54594545.

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