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Senior Women of the Gold Coast ? Please Step Forward!

A joint research project by Bond and Griffith Universities will investigate the optimum level of exercise for women aged between 65 and 74 years.

The ‘STEP ForWARD’ project - Striding Towards Exercise Prescription For Women: A Recommended Dose – is supported by the Department of Health and Ageing and will aim to determine the correct dose of exercise that should be given to older women to improve their health and wellbeing.

Chief Investigator Professor Greg Gass of Bond University says they are looking for 120 volunteers to take part in the project.

“We are looking to recruit women aged between 65 and 74 years who currently partake in little to no scheduled exercise and are able to take part in a 24 week walking program.

“Volunteers will be required to visit Bond University between zero and four days a week, with walking sessions lasting up to a maximum of one hour.

“By participating in the program, volunteers will essentially be receiving a prescribed, supervised exercise program at no cost to them.

“They will also receive a significant amount of information about their general health and may experience improvements in their general fitness and well-being, including a decrease in body weight, blood pressure and fats,” Professor Gass said.

Professor Gass says the STEP ForWARD project is particularly important given the increasing number of older women in Australia and the significant challenge that presents to the national health system.

“Preventative and health promotion strategies must be developed for this important group of Australians if chronic disease and disability are to be minimised, and if the decline in their capacity to perform their day-to-day activities is to be slowed,” he said.

“One preventative and health promotion intervention strategy is regular exercise. If we are to achieve the health benefits of exercise, we need to know the correct dose of exercise that should be given to older women to achieve optimum health benefits,” Professor Gass said.

Women who are interested in finding out more about volunteering for the STEP-Forward project should register for one of two information sessions being held at Bond University on Wednesdays 29 August and 5 September. To register, phone Tracey Norling on (07) 55 95 44 63.

Direct funding for STEP ForWARD is provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia and by the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University. Funding for the Chief Investigators’ time commitment to the project is provided by Bond University, Griffith University and Massey University (New Zealand).

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