Reducing the risk of fractures in older women is the aim of a research study atGriffith University.
The study led by Associate Professor Belinda Beck of the Griffith HealthInstitute’s Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, is hoping to determine if highload resistance training is a safe and effective strategy for improving bone andmuscle strength and physical function in post-menopausal women.
Called LIFTMOR (Lifting Intervention For Training Muscle and OsteoporosisRehabilitation), the study is aiming to recruit 100 healthy women aged over 60.
Half of the women will be randomly assigned to a high load resistance trainingprogram either on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane. The other half will complete alower load home-based exercise program.
The program will only take 30 minutes twice a week for eight months, withparticipants being asked to undertake a small number of exercises of gradually
increasing intensity. All study participants will receive free scans at the beginningand end of the study to assess changes in bone mass and muscle strength.
One in three women will experience a fracture after 60
“Unfortunately, one in three women will experience a fracture after the age of 60as a result of a gradual decline in bone health; some of which may be fatal or
cause significant loss of independence,” says Associate Professor Beck.
“We are basing our exercise program on one developed by Olympic weightlifterLisa Weis who runs a fitness facility in Brisbane focussing on older women. Lisa’s
program has had some success, but real data is needed to test the effects.”
Physiotherapist Mr Steven Watson who is conducting the study as part of hisPhD says: “We are optimistic that this research will produce some positiveoutcomes, with the women expected to show an increase in bone mass andmuscle strength which translates into a reduced risk of fracture.”
Globally, osteoporotic fracture is now responsible for 0.83% of all noncommunicablediseases (1.75% in Europe), and therefore accounts forconsiderable worldwide mortality and morbidity.
In 2013, there were almost 400 osteoporotic fractures a day in Australia, and by2022 it is estimated the number will increase to 500.
For more information on this study please go to www.liftmor.org or contactAssociate Professor Belinda Beck on (07) 5552 8793 or Mr Steve Watson at