Brock event to focus on bone and muscle health in COVID-19 era

Important aspects of bone and muscle health, including implications of low activity during the COVID-19 pandemic on different demographics, will be discussed at an upcoming Brock University event.

Hosted by Brock’s Centre for Bone and Muscle Health (CBMH), the fourth Musculoskeletal Health Education Forum takes place Saturday, Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will be held online for the first time. The public event will bring together international speakers and participants to explore topics related to the theme of Musculoskeletal Health and Performance during the COVID-19 Era.

The aim of the CBMH to increase knowledge of bone and muscle health through research and to use that information to improve well-being of individuals, organizations and communities in Niagara and beyond.

“The Centre for Bone and Muscle Health is a leader in knowledge translation,” says Brock Kinesiology Professor and outgoing Centre Director Bareket Falk. “Very often, scientific findings stay in the lab and don’t get translated to the real world. A main purpose of our biennial forum is to mobilize knowledge into the hands of practitioners and the field.”

The Musculoskeletal Health Education Forum connects academics, professionals and community members as they discuss important aspects of bone and muscle health. The event also provides students with the opportunity to become further engaged in current topics.

Falk says this year’s online platform has allowed for participation by an array of experts from around the world.

“Our lineup of speakers is exciting because they will be considering the different aspects of COVID-19 from their own settings and environments,” she says. “There will be an international lens on having to deal with different aspects of lockdowns and restrictions.”

Examples of some of the differences and similarities being explored will include, how to stay active and resume activities during the pandemic, and the different implications of lower activity levels for children, adults, seniors, athletes and those recovering from COVID-19, and more.

“There are many interesting nuances for how COVID-19 has been handled geographically,” Falk says. “For instance, here in Canada we were encouraged to go outdoors for physical activity, but at times in Australia, they were only allowed a five-kilometre radius and in Israel, only 500 metres.”

The event’s keynote speakers are Dr. Yoni Yarom, from the Medix Center for Sports Medicine at the Israel Olympic Center, who will present on “COVID-19 and Return to Play,” and University of Saskatchewan Kinesiology Professor Phil Chilibeck, who will discuss “Keeping gyms and sports competitions open during COVID-19 — is the use of face masks a viable strategy?” 

Session speakers on the agenda include Michaela Devries, University of Waterloo, Health Sciences and Kinesiology Assistant Professor; Bruce Craven, Craven Sport Services (Saskatoon), President and Physiotherapist; Katsu Funai, University of Utah, Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center Associate Professor; and Bahram Jam, Advanced Physical Therapy Education Institute (Toronto), Founder and Director.

“Muscles and bones are very much related but in research, we often focus on one specific thing and do not always look at or cannot look at it from a bigger view. Sometimes, the interaction between them can be overlooked,” Falk says. “By bringing together stakeholders who see the benefits of these important interactions, we can find new opportunities to collaborate in research to ensure cohesion of efforts, minimize the duplication of efforts and capitalize upon common goals and resources.”

The Musculoskeletal Health Education Forum is intended for a wide audience of practitioners, professionals, students and other academics and non-academics within the field of musculoskeletal health.

“Musculoskeletal health is a broad topic that spans from the cellular mechanisms all the way to ergonomics,” Falk says. “Our speakers will be delivering engaging talks using accessible language to generate excitement in science using common terminology.”

This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required to gain access to the online Zoom event. Please RSVP online.

For more information, please contact

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