From 20-26 June 2011, the Continence Foundation of Australia will celebrate its very first World Continence Week, aligning itself with the International Continence Society’s global event.
This event is supported by our multidisciplinary membership, and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing under the National Continence Program.
The theme for World Continence Week 2011 is Exercise and the Pelvic Floor. This theme supports the Pelvic Floor First campaign, a national social marketing campaign that the Continence Foundation has been running since December 2009.
The Pelvic Floor First campaign;
Did you know that almost every exercise you do affects your pelvic floor? And that some exercises can actually harm these muscles, leading to bladder or bowel control problems?
In December 2009, the Continence Foundation joined forces with a number of Australia’s leading fitness organisations, to develop a joint strategy to raise awareness about this issue. This campaign, titled Pelvic Floor First, was launched to the fitness industry in April 2011, and will be launched to the general public during World Continence Week.
Campaign aim and objectives
Pelvic Floor First aims to reduce the number of men and women who experience pelvic floor dysfunction as a result of inappropriate exercise regimes.
This aim is supported by the following objectives:
- strengthen the relationship between the continence and fitness industry
- increase awareness of the link between certain types of exercise and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, and
- promote pelvic floor safe exercises.
This will support people to remain active without the fear and anxiety related to incontinence.
The primary target audience of the Pelvic Floor First campaign are women and men at increased risk of pelvic floor problems who exercise, play sport or participate in some form of physical activity.
These people include:
- pregnant women
- women who have recently, or ever, had a baby
- women who are going through, or have gone through, menopause
- women who have undergone gynaecological surgery, and
- men who have undergone surgery for prostate cancer.
The secondary target audience of the Pelvic Floor First campaign include:
- exercise professionals, and
- health professionals (including continence professionals and other health professionals such as midwives, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses and GPs).
These professionals are ideally placed to raise awareness of this issue, refer clients for help and support, and promote pelvic floor safe exercise
The Continence Foundation has produced a series of resources as part of the Pelvic Floor First campaign which will be used to promote World Continence Week 2011.
These include a:
- Pelvic Floor First microsite www.pelvicfloorfirst.com.au
- consumer brochure
- exercise professional brochure
- double sided poster promoting World Continence Week (one side for exercise professionals - one side for health professionals)
- referral cards (promoting the microsite and National Continence Helpline) for exercise professionals to discreetly provide their clients
- speakers kit for continence professionals, and
- continuing professional development accredited online course for exercise professionals.
Please note that the speaker’s kit and online course will be launched during World Continence Week.
Activities and events:
The Continence Foundation is planning a national media campaign to support World Continence Week 2011. This will span electronic, print and broadcast channels.
We are also working with our State Branches and Resource Centres to organise local events to support the theme of exercise and the pelvic floor.
Planned activities across Australia at a national level include:
- a breakfast launch, to be held in Adelaide (South Australia) on 17 June 2011
- a videoconference on Pelvic Floor Fitness, to be broadcast nationally on 22 June 2011, and
- an Exercise and Pelvic Floor forum, to be held in Sydney (New South Wales) on 24 June 2011.
Partnerships and collaboration:
In the spirit of global awareness, and as a member of the ICS Continence Promotions Committee, the Continence Foundation has agreed to share the intellectual property developed as part of the Pelvic Floor First campaign with New Zealand Continence Association. This will be used to support World Continence Week 2011 in New Zealand.
The evidence underpinning these resources is the accumulation of national and international research and expertise, with Australia’s leading Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapists involved in its development.
The Continence Foundation would like to extend our thanks to all continence and exercise professionals involved in this project and look forward to significant changes across the fitness industry in Australia and New Zealand.
If you would like to find out more about the Pelvic Floor First campaign e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please see the below:
WCW 2011 Poster
Pelvic Floor First Consumer Brochure
Pelvic Floor First Professional Brochure
WCW 2011 Download Overview