Healthy Ageing

The Healthy Ageing theme includes research staff, research students and professional staff with a variety of backgrounds including physiotherapy, exercise physiology and health promotion. We aim to help reduce the global epidemic of physical inactivity.

Only 25% of adults aged over 65 undertake the recommended amount of physical activity. This theme focuses on developing and evaluating physical activity-based approaches to promoting healthy ageing.

IMH-led projects

We hope the findings of this project lead to the development of an education program to improve physical and mental health and prevent disability in middle aged women.

This project offers a free one hour workshop to staff members from the Sydney Local Health District and the University of Sydney, who are aged 50 years and over and able to take part in regular physical activity. The workshop provides information about the importance of physical activity for maximising physical and mental health and preventing disability in older age. It also provides information regarding local area resources to participate in and enhance physical activity. Follow-up support is offered via fortnightly email messages and use of a Fitbit activity tracker.

Principal Investigator: Professor Cathie Sherrington.

Chief Investigators: Professor Colleen Canning, Dr Leanne Hassett, Ms Cath MacKay, Dr Bethan Richards, Professor Roberta Shepherd, Professor Anne Tiedemann and Ms Geraldine Wallbank.

For more information about this project, please contact Geraldine Wallbank. This project has received ethics approval from the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee and is being funded through a Healthy Sydney University seed funding grant .

Funding has been obtained to develop and feasibility test an online resource based on the current trial and we will be recruiting participants for this.

ACTRN12617000485336

We hope the findings of this project lead to the development of an online resource to improve physical and mental health and prevent disability in middle aged women.

Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups. Group one will receive access to the Active Women over 50 website plus a single follow-up health coaching phone call and up to 24 SMS or 8 email contacts over 3 months to provide support and guidance on increasing activity. Group two will be placed on a waitlist and receive access to the Active Women over 50 online information and support program after the 3 month follow-up.

Principal Investigator: Professor Anne Tiedemann (IMH)

Associate Investigators: Professor Cathie Sherrington (IMH); Professor Colleen Canning (University of Sydney), Associate Professor Leanne Hassett (IMH), Dr Bethan Richards (IMH), Professor Roberta Shepherd (University of Sydney), Dr Josephine Chau (Macquarie University), Professor Marian Baird (University of Sydney), Dr Fiona Martin (University of Sydney), Professor Lisa Harvey (University of Sydney), Associate Professor Philayrath Phongsavan (University of Sydney), Dr Anne Grunseit (University of Sydney), Dr Dominika Kwasnicka (Curtin University) and Geraldine Wallbank (IMH).

For more information about this project, please contact Ms Geraldine Wallbank.

This project has received ethics approval from the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee and is being funded through a Charles Perkins Centre Active Ageing node seed funding grant.

We hope the findings of this project lead to increased physical activity and decreased risk of falling in older people.

The aim of this project is to establish the impact of a physical activity and fall prevention intervention compared to an advice brochure in community-dwelling people aged 60+ years. The intervention is delivered during a two hour home visit by a research physiotherapist. Participants undergo a fall risk assessment, set two physical activity goals and receive fortnightly telephone-based health coaching to provide support and motivation to increase their physical activity. Participants are also encouraged to wear a pedometer on a daily basis for six months to provide feedback and motivation.

This project is active but no longer recruiting.

Principal Investigator: Professor Anne Tiedemann.

Chief Investigators:  Dr Serene Paul, Professor Dafna Merom, Dr Nicola Fairhall, Juliana Oliveira, Professor Leanne Hassett and Professor Cathie Sherrington.

For more information about this project, please contact Associate Professor Anne Tiedemann. This study has received ethics approval from the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee and funding from Marrickville Council.

ACTRN12614000016639

We hope the findings of this project lead to enhanced promotion of physical activity by health professionals for people aged 50+ and people of all ages with a physical disability.

The aim of the project is to to collaboratively develop and test a strategy to support health professionals to promote PA to their patients – including older adults and children/adolescents/adults with physical disabilities – within their daily clinical practice.

The project is currently recruiting participants for phase one of the study-collaborative implementation strategy development. In this phase we will conduct interviews, focus groups, workshops and surveys with health professionals, exercise providers and consumers to identify barriers to PA promotion and collaboratively develop the evidence-based implementation strategies and intervention elements.

Phase 2 of the study is a Type 2 hybrid effectiveness-implementation cluster randomised trial (2023 onwards). In Phase 2 we will test the effectiveness of the implementation strategies and intervention elements in a Type 2 hybrid cluster randomised trial recruiting 800 participants across 30 sites.

Chief Investigator Professor Cathie Sherrington (IMH)

Our team comprises academics, public health experts and health economists from the University of Sydney, UNSW, Western Sydney University and Australian Catholic University, as well as multi-disciplinary clinicians from five Local Health Districts (Sydney, Western Sydney, South-Western Sydney, South-Eastern Sydney and Sydney Children Hospitals Network). Partner organisations include Disability Sport Australia, Australian Physiotherapy Association, Clinical Excellence Commission, iCare and Belgravia Leisure.

For more information about this project, please contact Kate Purcell.

This project has received ethics approval from Local Health District Ethics Committees and is being funded by an NHMRC Partnership Grant.

Collaborative projects

Visually impaired older people are increasing in number, have significant morbidity but are neglected when it comes to a specific falls prevention strategy. The intention of the trial is to validate the new falls prevention program – Exercise (LiFE) – for visually impaired older people.

The PlaTFORM Trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the Exercise (LiFE) program to prevent falls and improve function in older people with vision impairment compared to usual care. Participants will be randomised to receive either the LiFE intervention or usual care. The LiFE intervention will be delivered by Guide Dogs’ Orientation and Mobility Instructors. Falls will be reported on a monthly bases and physical activity will be measured at the start of the trial, 3 months and 12 months.

This study is currently recruiting. You may be eligible to participate in the study if you are: a client of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT with vision impairment severe enough to interfere with activities of daily living; aged 50 years or older; living in the community or self-care unit of a retirement village; able to understand English well enough to undertake study procedures; no more than two errors on the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire; no diagnosis of dementia; and not scheduled for cataract surgery in the next 12 months.

Principal Investigator: Associate Professor Lisa Keay

Institute for Musculoskeletal Health Investigator: Professor Anne Tiedemann

For more information on this George Institute for Global Health trial, please contact Kirsten Jakobsen. This NHMRC trial has received ethics approval from the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee.

ACTRN12616001186448

Theme leader: Professor Anne Tiedemann

BSc (Human Movement), GradDipSc (Exercise Science), PhD

Professor Anne Tiedemann is a NHMRC Career Development Fellow and Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, Sydney School of Public Health. Anne has received $15 million in research funding and has 80 publications. She has a professional background in exercise physiology and obtained a PhD from The University of New South Wales in 2007.