Highlights from the Media Centre

From research showing underreporting of workplace injuries to UniSA students offering free heart health checks, here are some of the top stories from our Media Centre:

Iceberg data for workplace injuries

A stressed healthcare professional.Accidents leading to work injuries cost an estimated $57 billion in Australia and new research from the University of South Australia shows workplaces are unlikely to be adequately addressing injury prevention because management decisions are informed by inaccurate data.

Reporting of workplace injuries appears to be a bit like an iceberg – there is a lot going on underneath that is not reported.

The University’s Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety study linked confidential surveys of hospital employees to register-reported injuries and found a large discrepancy.

Lead researcher Amy Zadow says on average, only four per cent of work injuries were registered compared to those reported in the confidential survey.

“Workers were much less likely to report psychological injuries with 73 per cent of physical work injuries reported compared to just 35 per cent of psychological injuries,” Zadow says.

Students delivering life-saving heart health checks

A person getting their blood pressure takenThe University of South Australia partnered with the Heart Foundation to offer free Heart Health Checks to the community at UniSA’s Mobile Allied Health Clinics at Elizabeth and Salisbury in May.

Delivered by students supervised by UniSA Health Sciences Clinical Education Centre Coordinator, Sue Gash, everyone was welcome to have their blood pressure taken and learn more about their heart health from the Heart Foundation.

“Last year we undertook more than 1000 health assessments at 28 community centres or community events north of Adelaide so these students are committed and experienced,” Gash says.

Heart Foundation South Australia CEO, Imelda Lynch, says undiagnosed or untreated high blood pressure is a ticking time bomb for heart disease and other serious illnesses like stroke, dementia and kidney disease and because people often don’t have symptoms they don’t think they are at risk.

Food for thought: Re-designing urban food gardens to deliver maximum benefit

Backyard vegetable patch with chickensEver wondered why growing food at home never seems to save you any money?

Two researchers, Dr James Ward (UniSA) and Dr John Symons (Victoria University) think they may have the answer, and it lies in mathematics.

Their work, published in the free Open Access journal Horticulturae, uses a mathematical optimisation technique called ‘linear programming’ to design urban food gardens that deliver the maximum cost-saving to households.

“Growing food at home used to be something people did to be thrifty,” says Dr Ward, lead researcher on the project, “but these days it’s become more of a trendy thing that’s only done by people who have enough disposable income.”

One of the biggest recent changes to garden affordability is the rising price of water.