19 September 2016

walkingFoot health and physical activity will be the focus of UniSA’s final Successful Ageing seminar of the year, to be presented by experts in the fields of podiatry and exercise psychology, later this week.

The Foundations of Active Ageing event will feature two presentations, to be delivered by Dr Sara Jones, Program Director: Podiatry, and Gaynor Parfitt, Associate Professor in Exercise and Sport Psychology, at the University of South Australia.

As a podiatry practitioner with expertise in foot pressure patterns and health education, Dr Jones is also involved in forensic podiatry. Through analysing footprints, impressions, footwear, and gait, she has assisted criminal investigations across Australia.

“Each person’s feet experience a unique set of stresses and strains as a result of daily use,” Dr Jones says.

“Injuries, illnesses and development of conditions such as diabetes all affect foot health and can change its structure and function. Add inherited factors to this mix, and you can end up with an interesting set of foot problems.”

Dr Jones’ presentation will consider some of the more common foot problems encountered in the community and how these can help in crime scene investigations.

Associate Professor Gaynor Parfitt’s presentation will consider what the effects of exercise and a physically active lifestyle are on physical functioning, cognitive performance, and quality of life as we age.

Following an early career that focused on anxiety and performance in sport, Assoc Professor Parfitt's research interests changed to exercise psychology including the chronic and acute effects of exercise on psychological and physical well-being, motivational factors that may influence adoption and maintenance of physical activity.

“We are all ageing, and with it come functional challenges,” Assoc Professor Parfitt says.

“Support for the ‘never too late’ adage will be presented with research evidence for: how to regulate physical activity for long-term behaviour change; the benefits of this type of approach; what type of exercise may be the most beneficial and why; and how to get started, if you are not already active."

The Foundations of Active Ageing event, which will take place from 2pm on September 23 at the ground floor lecture theatre, Barbara Hanrahan Building, City West campus, is free to attend but guests need to register online here or by phoning 08 8302 0160.

Media contact: Will Venn office +61 883020096 mob 0401 366054 email will.venn@unisa.edu.au

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