In Australia, the burden of chronic disease has never been greater; osteoporosis is no exception to this.
Osteoporosis, a disease characterised by weak and brittle bones and an increased risk of fracture, is ranked the 7th national health priority and results in more disability than that caused by many cancers and other chronic diseases.
A Deakin University-based research group has been engaging with the community to make an oversized jigsaw puzzle to help promote healthy lifestyle behaviours for strong bones.
Part of the project was a recent free event held on World Osteoporosis Day at the fabled Carousel on Geelong's Waterfront.
"The event was a great public event – interesting, interactive and educational," said said Research Fellow Dr Sharon Brennan, who is Head of Social Epidemiology in the Epidemiology Unit for Musculoskeletal and Metabolic Disorders, Deakin University, and is also affiliated with the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS), NorthWest Academic Centre, The University of Melbourne.
“Many people think that osteoporosis is a natural and unavoidable part of aging, however, the disease is largely preventable.
“Although osteoporosis was once viewed primarily as a disease of old age, it’s now recognized that this disease can stem from poor bone growth and development during childhood and adolescence, of course along with bone loss later in life.
“This event showed easy to understand messages regarding healthy bones, and was based upon recommended guidelines promoted by Osteoporosis Australia.
“Osteoporosis really is something that everyone at all stages of life should aim to prevent.
The research group members extends their appreciation to the Geelong East Men’s Shed, and residents of the Multicultural Aged Care Services, Geelong, for their work in making and decorating the oversized jigsaw for the event.
They also thank Fagg’s Mitre 10 Geelong for the donation of materials, and to Osteoporosis Australia for providing free booklets for event attendees.
World Osteoporosis Day is observed annually and launches a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.