News & Events

ENJOY research at Leith Park a VicHealth finalist

November 19, 2019

Exercising outside is enjoyable and inspiring as Leith Park residents are finding out as they take part in ENJOY, a national research program run by the National Ageing Research Institute.

The program, aimed at active ageing, is a finalist in this year’s VicHealth awards. The winners will be announced on 3 December.

Less than 25% of older Australians do enough physical activity to achieve a health benefit. The new exercise park at Leith Park, installed with support from Perpetual’s 2018 IMPACT Philanthropy Program and Gandel Philanthropy, is central to Enjoy, a two-year research program which hopes to determine whether older people get as much out of play as pre- schoolers in terms of physical and mental health.

NARI Project leader Associate Professor Pazit Levinger said that findings from a past study revealed that participants improved muscle strength, balance, and physical function. The trial, known as Enjoy, hopes to show that senior outdoor parks also help to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Volunteer Liliana Diaz Tornros and resident Vera Lay have been helping out the researchers who are taking a group of residents through their paces as part of the trial.

Liliana, who spoke at the exercise park opening in August, said the program was a great initiative, and one, which is already yielding benefits for people taking part.

“Keeping fit is a way of life for me, and I wanted to volunteer and help residents who were not as active to show that exercise can be fun,” she said.

“Keeping fit is about enjoying life, maintaining strength and balance, and preventing falls – all of which are vital for older people.”

The program includes videos and other materials, which show how to do each exercise properly together with training tips.

Other finalists in the promoting health through physical activity and sport category are:
·       Dr Cranky’s – Bikes for Kids That Need Them – Dr Cranky’s
·       Hepburn Shire Council Active Women and Girls Strategy – Hepburn Shire Council, together with Sport and Recreation Victoria
·       Serco Fit For Life Park Athlete Program – Serco Australia, together with Recovre
·       SaintsPlay – St Kilda Football Club
·       Walking Football – City in the Community
·       2 on 2 St Kilda Beach Basketball Tournament – City of Port Phillip, together with St Kilda Police and Citizens Youth Club

Caption: OCAV’s CEO Phillip Wohlers with volunteer Liliana Diaz Tornros.

"There is nothing I would change that would make my life any better. I have two loving sons and family and I thank God every day that OCAV took me in when I had nothing," said Jill Dale, Braeside Park resident.

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