Every two years sees the national Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) conference held, which brings together about a thousand researchers, clinicians, academics and some amazing presenters to discuss the latest in physical activity research, clinical guidelines and the opportunity to collaborate and bring forward great ideas to move the field forward and create the best possible outcomes for our patients.
The highlights of this conference for me were:
* Prof Daniel Green – why exercise is better for the cardiovascular system than we first believed
* Prof Graham Kerr – Exercise in patients with neurodegenerative disorders
* Dr Kim Bennell – exercise as therapy for osteoarthritis
* A/Prof Lorimer Moseley – Exercise for the patient with chronic pain
These talks were inspirational and I managed to learn some great information. However, this conference was also more special for me as I was fortunate enough to present my research on exercise for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
It was a great environment to discuss my findings, in which these patients who were undergoing chemotherapy who exercised for more than 90 minutes/week had reduced fatigue, slept better, improved quality of life, were stronger and had less anxiety.
I also had a poster viewing session, which was a great way to interact with other researchers. Here I met an expert in chronic pain, Matthew Jones, and he was able to give me insight into how he helps to reduce pain by exercising in young healthy people, something of massive interest we seek to investigate in the future for cancer survivors.
I also managed to attend some great presentations of colleagues and experts in the field:
Dr Fiona Naumann (above) spoke on the complex considerations for exercise physiologists working with cancer survivors, Carolina Sandler gave great insight to the Post-Cancer Fatigue experienced by survivors, and how exercise therapy can help manage this, whilst Simon Rosenbaum discussed his research improving the mental health issues for patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In terms of cancer & exercise research, there was also other great talks on reducing side-effects of Prostate cancer treatment by Brad Wall and Tina Skinner, and a pre-surgery exercise program by Andrew Murnane. Anna Meares OAM, olympic medalist for cycling also presented her amazing story of recovering from a fractured neck vertibrae only to return and win a silver medal at the London games.
Overall, it was a fantastic few days – and to top it off, I was very surprised and honoured to be awarded a research award for my work.
Check out the Twitter feed for the ESSA conference #ESSA14
Now, I return to Sydney with a whole range of new ideas, more potential researchers to do further work with as I set the bar high with what we can achieve and assist as many future survivors as we can.
Please add me on twitter, ask questions, share our quest with other survivors, follow and most of all, just get out there and get active! We are here to help!
Your exercise physiologist,
Twitter – @Davemiz_EP
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org