27 March 2012

A senior person excercisingOsteoporosis prevention strategies – including diet and exercise – will be the focus of the University of South Australia’s next Successful Ageing seminar on April 20.
UniSA’s Medical Sciences Professor Howard Morrisand falls prevention expert Dr Shylie Mackintosh will present the free seminar being held at City West Campus.
Prof Morris says that every five to six minutes, someone in Australia is admitted to hospital with an osteoporotic fracture.
“One in two women and one in three men over 60 years of age will have an osteoporotic fracture,” Prof Morris says.
“Every person who experiences a fracture has an increased risk of dying in the next decade, while over a quarter of patients with a hip fracture die within a year. One half of people who have had a hip fracture will never regain their original mobility.”
The good news is that osteoporosis can be treated in ways that markedly reduce the risk of fractures.
Professor MorrisProf Morris’s presentation will focus on dietary strategies for fracture prevention, especially calcium and vitamin D supplements, while Dr Mackintosh will outline exercise strategy for falls prevention.
Dr Mackintosh says while osteoporosis does not increase the risk of having a fall, people with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer a fracture if they do have a fall.
“The right sort of exercise can both prevent falls and strengthen bones,” Dr Mackintosh says.
“Not only do we need adequate calcium intake and vitamin D for bones, we also need to load bone, either through the tension within our muscles or by bearing weight through the bone. 
“Types of exercise that have been shown to maintain or augment older people’s bones include weight bearing exercises, high impact exercise and strength training, while the types of exercise that have been shown to reduce the number of falls by older people include strength training targeting the leg muscles and balance exercises.
“If upper and lower limb strength training and balance exercises are combined in weight bearing positions, then both bone health and falls prevention can be addressed in one exercise program.”
Dr Mackintosh plans to show examples of exercises and give details on where to access relevant exercise programs in the community.
The Successful Ageing seminar, ‘Osteoporosis – preventative strategies’, will be held at UniSA’s City West Campus in the Barbara Hanrahan Building (ground floor lecture theatre), on Friday April 20 from 2pm to 4pm. This is a free event but registration is essential – please phone (08) 8302 0160 or emailgiving@unisa.edu.au

Media contact

  • Kelly Stone office (08) 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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