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Older adults losing strength

Older adults losing strength
October 14, 2011

Australians do not exercise at sufficient levels to promote good health, according to a study to be presented at the Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport (ACSMS) next week.

Present data suggests that the prevalence of Australians participating in regular muscle strengthening activity programs is very low and unlikely to provide health benefits to stave off age associated muscle decline and health risks.

Dr Brendan Humphries from CQ University says that despite the shown benefits of strength training, the practice of it seems to be being ignored.

Dr Humphries explains "decades of research into muscle strengthening activities have shown a multiplicity of health benefits for both healthy and elevated risk populations.

"Physical activity guidelines for older adults state that older adults should initiate and maintain engagement in muscle strengthening activities in conjunction with aerobic, flexibility and balance based activities to continue to lead healthy lifestyles."

Research showed that across a six year time period almost 85% of the population sampled did not perform strength training activities.

Dr Humphries addes "national health authorities have widely promoted physical activity in the form of aerobic exercise to the public, although the promotion of muscle strengthening activities has received far less attention.

"The findings underscore the need to increase overall education on the benefits of regular strength training with an emphasis among targeted adult populations to increase participation in strength training programs."

With the theme 'Optimising Health and Fitness - Participation, Prevention and Performance' ACSMS 2011 is being held from 19th to 22nd October at The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle.

The conference will showcase the latest in sports science, sports medicine, physical activity promotion and sports injury prevention and offer a plethora of international and homegrown speakers speaking on a range of topics encompassing groin/football, training effects, physical activity ï¾

interventions/policy/advocacy, shoulder, upper limb, biomechanics, physical activity in children/adolescents, rehabilitation and return to sport, and exercise and recovery.

Other research papers/topics being addressed at ACSMS 2011 include:

• Overcoming the cholera of the 21st century: Inoculating communities against inactivity
• Exercise in the heat - can the brain be manipulated?
• The case of the water polo player's shoulder - clinical reasoning, assessment and management
• Developing evidence-informed exercise guidelines to prevent lower limb injuries among community Australian Football players
• The anti-doping landscape now and beyond - a practical guide to assist athlete support personnel in the prevention of doping
• Asthma, exercise and the athlete - an overview of four decades of researching these topics and their inter-relationships
•  Promoting kids' sport and physical activity education contexts: can it really make a difference outside of school?
• Foot orthotic prescription principles: two decades in a nutshell
• Nutrition and the brain
• Exercise as cardiovascular medicine: An update of the direct impacts of exercise on the heart and arteries
• Stretching and injury prevention: An enigmatic relationship

For more information visit



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