Beach accessibility is focus of Bundaberg survey

Published:09 September 2020

Physiotherapy lecturer Sasha Job and third year student Rebecca Hartnett are hoping to increase beach accessability for people with mobility issues through a new research project in Bundaberg.

CQUniversity is hoping to understand how better access to beaches in the Bundaberg region could help older residents and those living with disabilities to be more physically active.

A team of physiotherapy and occupational therapy researchers are conducting a beach accessibility research project titled U-Beach: Tides of Change and is seeking input from Bundaberg residents over the age of 65 and those living with a disability or mobility limitation.

An anonymous survey is being conducted to understand this cohort’s physical activity, patterns of beach use, challenges accessing beaches and how beach access could potentially be improved in the region.

Physiotherapy lecturer Sasha Job said information collected in the survey will enable researchers to identify how local beach access can be improved to promote physical activity and improved health and wellbeing.

“Following the analysis of this survey, information will be provided to Bundaberg Regional Council who have now committed funds to improve local beach access,” explained Ms Job.

“By conducting this survey we hope to determine the benefits, barriers and facilitators of beach access for older adults and people living with a disability or mobility limitation.

“Information collected will provide key data to understand the diversity of our community, physical activity levels and beach usage patterns, and will enable the identification of barriers and facilitators to both travelling to the beach and accessing the beach and surrounds.

“We are hoping that we can have our first accessible beach in time for Summer but will be dependent on the community survey and also the impact of COVID-19 which is causing some delays in the project.”

For a full participant information sheet and further information about this study, please contact Sasha Job at CQUniversity, via email or telephone (07) 4150 7702.