Healthy minds deliver health fixes

Eight health-related researchers presented a mass of work between them in less than 24 minutes in Bendigo yesterday.

The candidates from the La Trobe Rural Health School were challenged to describe their research to colleagues and lecturers in a heat of the university’s Three Minute Thesis contest.

The winner was Philip Shambrook for his project, Intermittent or Continuous Exercise for Glycemic Regulation. “The research is looking at the effects of exercise intensity and duration,” he said. “We hope to be able to provide clinical recommendations that medical practitioners can use to prescribe exercise.”

Runner-up was Stephen Barrett’s project focusing on chronic diseases and physical activity. He has recruited non-admitted patients, who are physically inactive, and is using a novel method of telephone coaching to try to increase their physical activity levels.

“The research is progressing well,” he said. “Many participants are already demonstrating positive behaviour change.

“Because of the demands that chronic diseases place on the healthcare system, hospitals are looking to broaden their role towards a position of more integrated disease management and health promotion.”

Academic and organiser Dr Carol McKinstry said the line-up of presentations demonstrated the breadth of research coming out of the La Trobe Rural Health School.

“Disciplines such as dentistry, exercise physiology and occupational therapy were represented,” said Dr McKinstry. “All of the projects hold merit in helping to improve the health outcomes of our own community and beyond.”

Other projects to feature during the afternoon included Luke Daly’s Exercise and the Heart: How To Overdo It and Rahila Ummer-Christian’s Access to Dental Services for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

The 3MT heat was held as part of a postgraduate studies health expo, highlighting the many opportunities at the university. La Trobe’s 3MT final will be held on 30 August.

Media contact: Lauren Mitchell – – 5444 7922 / 0436 189629