Samford Village

Flat Heads... #3 To Helmet or Not?

Flat Heads... #3 To Helmet or Not?

What about Helmets?

One fairly common treatment option for head shape concerns are custom-made ‘remodelling’ helmets. It is not uncommon for parents to be very anxious about the prospect of this treatment and often parents arrive at therapy to report that their main goal is to avoid ‘needing’ a helmet.

Flat Heads... #1. Ask The Right Questions!

Flat Heads... #1. Ask The Right Questions!

Start Here… Basic Definitions and Quesitons to Ask!

Any significant asymmetry in a baby’s head shape (where one side is very different to the other) should be considered a firm reason to look more closely and work out why that shape may have developed.

Running: It's not just one foot in front of the other!

As an adult you may have worked out a great way of running, but you probably have not.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of being involved in the Samford Fun Run! It was a great event for an excellent cause and it was so wonderful to see well over 400 people running and walking their way around Samford!! Running an event like this might be fun for some, but it is definitely not easy. In this article we ask the question... do we need to think more about how we run?

2016 Samford Fun Run -   photos taken by   Joep Buijs

2016 Samford Fun Run - photos taken by Joep Buijs

Running as an activity has a wide following. Almost 250,000 Australians are registered runners for Parkrun, a network of free weekly 5km events across the country. Major fun run events continue to grow in participants and number. Conversely in a 2015 Australian study of over 9000 people, almost 80% of adults were classified as having ‘low-sedentary’ activity lifestyles (1.2.3).

While running is only one form of physical activity, it is a cheap, accessible, and generally safe. Unfortunately though for those who don’t run regularly, it is often intensely unpopular. 

It is remarkable how often you will hear people say “oh but I’m not a runner” or more simply “I don’t run”.

So are people actually ‘runners’ or 'not runners’? 

There is no doubt that in the adult population some people find running much easier than others. Sometimes this is to do with the amount of actual running they have practiced and their general cardiovascular fitness, but for others it might be because of a bio-mechanical advantage they gain (or miss out on) from some combination of physical structure, muscle strength and motor pattern efficiency. 

The good news is that many of these factors are not set in stone by our genetics! 

2016 Samford Fun Run -   photos taken by   Joep Buijs

2016 Samford Fun Run - photos taken by Joep Buijs

Running is actually a skill!

We are not born knowing how to run. As young children we gradually learn to control our own body. Genetic features, like being particularly tall or short influence how we learn to move, but so do many many environmental features. In this early phase of life we learn to run more by trial and error than by some idealistic design. 

Most running athletes spend huge amounts of time and effort focussing on improving their running technique and form. To maintain this form while running they need to build strength, body awareness and tissue resilience. 

In the study mentioned above, only a dismal 18.6% of people met the recommendations for muscle-strengthening activities. Not many people are able to get better at running by just running more. The quickest and most significant improvements in running ability are often a result of technique and strength improvements. A planned and gradual increase in training load is then required to build up your cardiovascular fitness and your bodies ability to recover quickly.

Douglas Stewart - 2016 Samford Fun Run -   photos taken by   Joep Buijs

Douglas Stewart - 2016 Samford Fun Run - photos taken by Joep Buijs

Regular running with poor biomechanics or rapidly increasing training volume can have significant consequences. 'Overuse injuries' associated with running are very high, injuries are frequently the reason people quit running, and if not picked up quickly these injuries can be frustrating to recover from. Additionally, evidence for choosing footwear correctly is slim and awareness of running technique is generally poor.

So it can be helpful then to think of running as a skill rather than a genetic right. It is not feasible or really even possible to identify a 'recipe like' list of what you need to do to be a better runner. The key to your improvement might be to do with your technique, strength, mobility, training practices, footwear, medical conditions or very likely a combination of a number of factors. So if you want to improve your running (from whatever level you are currently) it may well be worth talking to your local Physiotherapist, Medical Professional or Running Expert to help identify your potential areas for improvement in this wonderful skill!

2016 Samford Fun Run - photos taken by  Joep Buijs

2016 Samford Fun Run - photos taken by Joep Buijs





B.Phty (Hons), G.D. Paed. Neuro. Rehab.

Tim has 9 years of Physiotherapy experience and is an expert in Paediatric (Baby’s and Children’s) Physiotherapy. Tim’s the person to see if you have any concerns about your baby or child’s movement skills or development.

Tim is co-owner and director of The Movement Team. Tim also holds an Advanced Physiotherapist position within a Child Development Service in the public health sector.

Tim has worked across the breadth of paediatric health (acute hospital, disability care, developmental, community and private clinics) and has completed numerous national and internationally recognised education courses in topics including developmental orthopaedics, high risk infant management, respiratory functioning and infant movement.

Tim's formal training consists of:

Bachelor Physiotherapy (Hons) - University of Queensland

Graduate Diploma Paediatric Neurological Rehabilitation - University of Western Australia

Tim additionally holds the following positions and memberships:

Chairperson of the Queensland Paediatric Physiotherapy Clinical Network 2013 - present

National Paediatric Group Member - Australian Physiotherapy Association



The clinical information included in this article is of a general nature and might not apply to every family. Please see your local health professional for individualised developmental advice.



  1. What are the Differences in Injury Proportions Between Different Populations of Runners? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Bas Kluitenberg et al.
  2. The NLstart2run study: Incidence and risk factors of running-related injuries in novice runnersB. Kluitenberg et al.
  3.  The descriptive epidemiology of total physical activity, muscle-strengthening exercises and sedentary behaviour among Australian adults – results from the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey. Bennie et al.

Fitness Trackers - Do they make us more healthy?

Fitness Trackers - Do they make us more healthy?

So, I took the dive and invested in a Fitness Tracker. My weapon of choice is a popular one, apparently: a FitBit Charge HR. I like it because it challenges me to compete against my past self. And so far, it’s working for me! (Also it’s great for letting my know someone is ringing me when my phone is on vibrate and hiding in the bottom of my handbag, but that’s another story.) 

Weighing In On The 'Obesity Epidemic'

If like 2/3 of the Australian population you're either overweight or obese, are you doomed to a lifetime of poor health unless you lose those extra 10, 20 or 30kg? The short answer, NO! 

BMI charts aren't always accurate

BMI charts aren't always accurate

As a society we've come to associate the increasing number on the scales with declining health and higher mortality rates. The weight of recent evidence suggests that perhaps we don't fully understand the big picture in terms of the relationship between weight and health. For example, almost all population based studies show that overweight or moderately obese persons live at least as long as people in the normal weight category! Many people then argue that if this group lives as long as their leaner counterparts surely overweight and obese people are comparatively less healthy, right? Wrong. When we take a closer look at the specific effects of fitness, physical activity, diet quality and weight cycling we see that these factors are more relevant than weight. 

Fit & fat

Fit & fat

So what does this mean in practical terms? In essence this means you can make significant health improvements WITHOUT focusing on weight. 

In terms of nutrition, it's about getting back to basics. Choose a varied diet, eat regularly and include plenty of wholegrain breads and cereals, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat. Recognise that it's normal to enjoy cake, chocolate and wine. Eat mindfully, tap into your hunger and fullness levels, and avoid restrictive diets. These behaviour changes will allow you to settle at your most comfortable healthy weight. For some people, this will translate to weight loss, for others it may mean a change in body composition without weight changes, and for many it will require acceptance that your healthiest most comfortable weight will not be the 'goal weight' you had in mind (and that's perfectly okay). 

Health at every size

Health at every size

While some of these concepts may sound simple, they are certainly not easy to fully embrace. I can only recommend that you seek help from your personal support team (health professionals, family and friends included), make gradual changes, and be kind to yourself. We are given only one body, so it seems absolutely absurd that many people spend the better part of their lives dissatisfied with their unique shape and size. Let go of the idea that weight loss equals health, and remember that your best weight is the one at which you are living the healthiest life you actually enjoy. 

You can find some great information here from Linda Bacon- one of the pioneer's of the "health at every size" movement.

Megan on a hike in New Zealand

Megan on a hike in New Zealand

Megan one of the Dietitians at the Movement Team and is passionate about challenging the way society approaches dieting. She has clinical interests in weight management, chronic disease, and eating behaviour. Megan also has experience in research and aged care.