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Menopause survey aims to activate healthy choices

31 May, 2011

Women from across Australia are being surveyed to find out their attitudes to exercise during menopause.

In one of the first large-scale studies of its kind, a research team from Victoria University in Melbourne want to find out why some women exercise during this time and others don’t.

Lead researcher, exercise psychologist Dr Erika Borkoles, said that exercise was beneficial to women of all ages, including those going through menopause.

"We suspect that some of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes, may be a reason that women cease to exercise at this time, but there has been so little research on this that we simply don’t know," Dr Borkoles said.

"Being active at any age helps individuals to live an independent and healthy life. We know that up to 80 per cent of women drop out of physical activity after the age of 55, but we don’t know why. If we can help women to remain active during menopause they are more likely to continue exercising in their later years."

The study is being conducted with Professor Remco Polman, Dr Lauren Banting, and Professor Lily Stojanovska, author of two books about menopause including Menopause for Dummies.

"We still have some taboos around talking about menopause in our society, and that doesn’t help when women are making decisions about exercise," Professor Stojanovska said.

"One of the aims of this study is to find out how our team can help women to be more active in this period of their lives. We aim to explore innovative ways, such as the use of cooling jackets, to improve participation in exercise among this group."

The researchers will survey 500 women Australia-wide with an online questionnaire probing their views about exercise during menopause.

Source: Victoria University

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