Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Orange is running a research trial in an effort to reduce falls among older residents.
CSU Biomedical Science lecturer Dr James Wickham is hoping to recruit 300 people aged 60 and over, from across the region, to take part in the 12-month research project, Coaching for Healthy Ageing.
Dr Wickham said the research would use social groups and about 80 participants had signed up so far, but they needed 220 more.
“Research has shown that physical activity, particularly that which challenges balance, significantly reduces incidence of falls and the use of social groups for recruitment could be used as a motivational tool to encourage everyone in the group to keep up their physical activity levels particularly as they meet regularly,” he said.
He said for the research to be successful it needed 30 social groups of about 10 people to take part in the trial, which would monitor their physical activity and any falls they had during a 12-month period.
“Orange needs 300 [people] and we’re in collaboration with the George Institute of Global Health in Sydney,” Dr Wickham said.
“We need 30 [groups] in Orange and 60 all up with Sydney involved.
Dr Wickham said some people would be included in the physical activity group, while the control group would have a nutrition focus.
Wanda Driscoll from the Women’s Shed and Watercolour Group is among the volunteers that have already signed up.
She experienced a fall that required shoulder surgery and said it was a devastating experience, especially since it was her painting arm that was injured.
“I want to get fitter. I do play hockey, ordinary hockey and masters hockey, I just want to keep fit,” she said.
To take part in the project email firstname.lastname@example.org.