Reducing the risk of fractures in older women is the aim of a research study atÂ Griffith University.
The study led by Associate Professor Belinda Beck of the Griffith HealthÂ Instituteâ€™s Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, is hoping to determine if highÂ load resistance training is a safe and effective strategy for improving bone andÂ muscle strength and physical function in post-menopausal women.
Called LIFTMOR (Lifting Intervention For Training Muscle and OsteoporosisÂ Rehabilitation), 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 trainingÂ program either on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane. The other half will complete aÂ lower load home-based exercise program.
The program will only take 30 minutes twice a week for eight months, withÂ participants being asked to undertake a small number of exercises of gradually
increasing intensity. All study participants will receive free scans at the beginningÂ and end of the study to assess changes in bone mass and muscle strength.
One in three women will experience a fracture after 60
â€œUnfortunately, one in three women will experience a fracture after the age of 60Â as a result of a gradual decline in bone health; some of which may be fatal or
cause significant loss of independence,â€ says Associate Professor Beck.
â€œWe are basing our exercise program on one developed by Olympic weightlifterÂ Lisa Weis who runs a fitness facility in Brisbane focussing on older women. Lisaâ€™s
program has had some success, but real data is needed to test the effects.â€
Physiotherapist Mr Steven Watson who is conducting the study as part of hisÂ PhD says: â€œWe are optimistic that this research will produce some positiveÂ outcomes, with the women expected to show an increase in bone mass andÂ muscle strength which translates into a reduced risk of fracture.â€
Globally, osteoporotic fracture is now responsible for 0.83% of all noncommunicableÂ diseases (1.75% in Europe), and therefore accounts forÂ considerable worldwide mortality and morbidity.
In 2013, there were almost 400 osteoporotic fractures a day in Australia, and byÂ 2022 it is estimated the number will increase to 500.
For more information on this study please go to www.liftmor.org or contactÂ Associate Professor Belinda Beck on (07) 5552 8793 or Mr Steve Watson at