The University of Sydney, Australia
Anne Tiedemann is a Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health and The University of Sydney, Australia. She has a background in Exercise Science and has authored 44 peer-reviewed research papers on fall prevention research. Her PhD was completed at the University of New South Wales in 2007 and concerned the development of the QuickScreen clinical fall risk assessment. Her current work involves the development and implementation of falls risk screening tools for use in hospital emergency departments and ambulance services and evaluation of exercise-based fall prevention interventions including yoga.
Falls are a common, costly and preventable consequence of ageing. Older people are susceptible to falling due to an age-related decline in the sensory and neuromuscular systems that contribute to postural stability. A fall occurs when the physical ability of the individual is unable to match the immediate demands of the environment and/or of the activity being undertaken. Physical activity is crucial for maximising health and preventing chronic disease across the lifespan. Targeted exercise aimed at improving the physical ability of the individual, such as balance and strength training, is crucial for promoting functional independence and mobility and reducing the risk of falling in older age. Exercise programs that provide a high challenge to balance, have a high dose, include progression of intensity over time and are ongoing are most effective for preventing falls. This presentation will summarise the research evidence and provide detailed examples of effective programs to guide health professionals and policy makers involved with the prescription and promotion of exercise programs to older people with the aim of improving strength and balance and preventing falls in older age.
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