Skip to main content
About the APA
Acupuncture & dry needling
Cancer, palliative care and lymphoedema
Women's, Men's and Pelvic Health
Leadership & management
Why join the APA
Category eligibilty & fees
Manage your membership
Member only access
Courses and events
Conference & tours
APA Conference 2018
Sports physiotherapy Hong Kong
2018 International Master Class
Professional development guide
Organise your event
Employment at the APA
Australian College of Physiotherapists
Working in Australia
Safer communities for children
Guidelines for writing clinical notes
Frequently asked questions
Social media guide
Private practice support
Business group resources
HR in practice
National physiotherapy service descriptors
Partners & endorsed products
Scope of practice
Research & Publications
Publications and Advertising
Journal of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy Research Foundation
APA research portal
Physio & you
What is physio?
Find a physio
Future focus at NSW Symposium
2 April 2016
Maria Fiatarone Singh
and her team are currently conducting research into whether exercise interventions are beneficial to cognitive, functional or psychological outcomes in two groups: those with a mild cognitive impairment, which can increase the risk of developing dementia, and those with established dementia. Specifically, those with established Lewis body dementia, which is similar to Parkinson’s disease, will be the focus.
Two studies will also look at the role of technology in delivering physical activity interventions using mobile apps and FaceTime video conferencing.
‘For prevention of dementia, it’s a reasonable approach because you’re basically addressing a lot of the risk factors that happen. Risk factors have previously been addressed in remotely-delivered interventions for managing obesity and hypertension and so on.
‘However, it’s not so clear whether this works with people who have already developed a mild cognitive impairment or dementia. We don’t yet know if they would be able to adopt an intervention without any face-to-face contact, or, in fact, if it would be safe,’ she says.
As digital technologies gradually spread and tech-savvy generations grow older, the implications for healthcare delivery across Australia are significant.
For now, Maria advocates a combination of face-to-face and remote interventions with technology playing the all-important role of ensuring adherence to exercise prescription and facilitating long-term behavioural change.
‘These days it isn’t that hard to see somebody in their home via FaceTime, for example, and watch them do something and give them feedback on their form,’ she says.
Maria’s belief in the preventive benefits of exercise is evident in the way she talks about the right types of exercise to prescribe and the dangers of disuse of our bodies.
‘A lot of the problems that are related to ageing are actually related to disuse, rather than ageing itself, whether it’s cognitive, musculoskeletal or cardiovascular disuse.’
She warns those prescribing exercise to maintain intensity and progressions regardless of age, pointing to the evidence base for high-intensity exercise.
‘In the realm of strength training, I still see an awful lot of low-intensity, non-progressive exercises prescribed that are called strength training but clearly aren’t. Challenging a muscle with uncustomary force is still the key to adaptation. The older you are, the more necessary it is to stick to that principle.’
The APA NSW Symposium is on Saturday 25 June at Rosehill Gardens, Sydney. For the latest information on this event, check
Touched by transplant
Erin Bellingham, APAM, writes about her family’s experience with transplantation and involvement in the Australian Transplant Games.
Exploring the Pain and Movement Reasoning Model
Lester Jones, APAM, will be presenting on the Pain and Movement Reasoning Model at this year’s Bringalong Dinner, a chance for healthcare professionals from all disciplines to learn and network in a social setting.
2017 NSW Branch Awards
The NSW Branch Awards will take place on 30 June 2017. Register now.
A tool for pain assessment
Lester Jones, APAM, provides an overview of his recent presentation at the NSW Bringalong Dinner, ‘Introducing the Pain and Movement Reasoning Model: a tool for capturing the complexity of pain’.