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25 February 2010
Deakin University health researchers are encouraging older adults to look out for information from the University in their letter boxes over the next couple of weeks.
A number of residents have been selected to take part in a study looking at what influences physical activity, eating behaviours and body weight in adults aged 55 to 65 years.
Dr Sarah McNaughton, a researcher with Deakin’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, wants to assure residents who receive information about the study that it is genuine and encourage them to respond.
“We are really keen to hear from people regardless of their fitness level or eating behaviours,” Dr McNaughton said.
“The residents who receive letters from us have been randomly selected from the Australian Electoral Roll and if they choose to take part in the study should rest assured that their details and responses will be kept confidential.”
With life expectancies increasing, there is an awareness of the need for improved quality of life at older ages, Dr McNaughton said.
“Chronic diseases such as obesity are known to increase from age 45 onwards. It is also estimated that 80 per cent of health problems associated with old age can be prevented or delayed if lifestyle changes are implemented in the 55 to 65 year age group,” she said.
“Through the Wellbeing, Eating and Exercise for a Long Life (WELL) study, we are looking to understand how personal, social and local neighbourhood factors, like shops and parks, might help older adults to be more physically active and to maintain a healthy diet.
“Many people find it hard to do enough physical activity or eat healthily enough to gain health benefits.
“By understanding what influences exercise and diet choices we can provide the evidence needed for developing effective policies and programs to promote and support increased physical activity and healthy eating behaviours among older adults.”
The WELL study will examine the activity levels and eating behaviours of 3600 adults living in urban and rural areas. Participation in the study will involve completing a survey during the next couple of months and a follow up survey in 2012.
Deakin Media Relations
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