A new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has been released which reveals the most common causes of injury in 2012-13 were falls, with over half the cases being people aged over 65 years.

The report, Trends in hospitalised injury, Australia 1999-00 to 2012-13, states that 40% of injuries were falls (40%) followed by transport crashes (12%). To combat these alarming figures, studies are currently being carried out by Victoria University, Melbourne to understand the relationship between seniors’ active living and health benefits.

A number of seniors-focused exercise parks are already in operation across Australia. Built in 2014, a dedicated seniors’ park in Sunshine North, west of Melbourne, was designed as part of a collaboration between Victoria University and Lappset Australia, a leading play and fitness equipment company. As part of a collaborative research project, a group of seniors are being monitored by university academics to find the correlation between seniors’ physical and mental health and exercise. Initial results of this local study are expected later this year.

“The worldwide number of people over 60 years of age is growing at a faster pace than that of any other age group”, said Harri Makela, Managing Director of Lappset Australia.

“If this age group grows as predicted, they will number nearly two billion by 2050. At that point, people over 60 will, for the first time in history, constitute a larger proportion of the world’s population than people younger than

We need to plan now for the years ahead”.

The National President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), Mark Frisby, identified the importance of landscape architects driving change for a healthier ageing population.

“Landscape architects create a better future for society. It’s essential we combine the strengths of our profession with allied organisations, such as Lappset Australia and Victoria University, at the outset of everything we do,” Mr Frisby said.