Australia needs a National Physical Activity Action Plan

The country needs to get on board with a health plan, says expert.
The country needs to get on board with a health plan, says expert. Contributed

THE Heart Foundation has unveiled the 'Move More, Sit Less' Canberra Communique, which lays out the foundations for a National Physical Activity Action Plan for Australia.

The communique sets out the priorities agreed at the recent National Physical Activity Consensus Forum in Canberra, which brought together 100 physical activity experts, key stakeholders and political representatives.

Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton of the National Heart Foundation said the unveiling of the communique represents an historic opportunity to improve the nation's health and well-being.

"With Australians less physically active than ever before, we need to hit the reset button and start thinking anew, and the 'Move More, Sit Less' Canberra Communique provides us the opportunity to do just that," Professor Shilton said.

"The communique outlines nine priority action areas and a comprehensive set of approaches and policy initiatives designed to encourage Australians to start moving again.

"Key to achieving this must be the development of an over-arching framework, a comprehensive, funded National Physical Activity Action Plan, to help inform policy-making into the future."

Professor Shilton said the Heart Foundation will present the communique to the major political parties and encourage them to commit to a national physical activity action plan.

"Early indications from the major parties are encouraging, with a clear recognition that physical activity is a major risk factor for chronic disease, Australia's biggest health challenge," he said.

The nine priority action areas identified in the 'Move More, Sit Less' Canberra Communique include:

Active children - school-based programs to get Australia's children moving;

Active seniors - community and aged-care policies and programs to keep our seniors active, fit and well;

Active workplaces - workplace programs to drive productivity through physical activity and reducing sitting;

Active transport, walking and cycling - transport systems that prioritise walking, cycling and public transport;

Active cities and neighbourhoods - urban design guidance and regulation to create liveable and active cities and neighbourhoods;

Active health care - physical activity prescription integrated into primary care;

Active public education - media campaigns to reinvigorate an active culture and motivate Australians to move more and sit less;

Active clubs and sport - sport and recreation services to boost participation; and

Active communities - community-based programs to engage and inspire communities to be more physically active.

Examples of specific policy initiatives underpinning the nine priority action areas include:

  • Mandating the delivery of high-quality Physical Education (PE) lessons in all Australian schools (K-12), totalling between 120-180 minutes per week;
  • Providing Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemptions for workplace packaging of sporting and health club memberships, bicycle purchases and public transport use; and
  • Creating a walking and cycling infrastructure program to support local government with the development of active travel infrastructure, similar to the Federal Government's 'Roads to Recovery' program.

A National Physical Activity Action Plan aims to deliver:

  • Significant savings to the health budget over time, by reducing the burden of chronic disease;
  • Better health across all age groups and demographics by reducing cardiovascular disease deaths by up to 35%, cancers by 20-30%, type 2 diabetes by 40% and depression by 30%;
  • Important economic benefits such as healthier, happier workers with lower rates of absenteeism and higher rates of productivity in the workplace; and
  • A reduction in the crippling traffic congestion that is choking our roads, our economy and our health.

Topics:  exercise health

Dragon boat invasion on river for Jacaranda weeekend

IN TO WIN: Grafton Dragon Boat Club show off its new Gen 4 boat.

Dragon boats will invade the Clarence River this weekend.

Angourie assembles strong team to defend home surf

SPRAY: Up-and-coming Angourie surfer Dakoda Walters practises his turns ahead of the Australian Boardriders Battle this weekend.

Australian Boardriders Battle hits Clarence Coast

Premiers' batting 'a little rusty' going into round 3

IN FORM: Brandon Honeybrook is hitting them well.

Round up of Lower Clarence Cricket Association First Grade fixtures

Local Partners

Is it time for a skate park extension in Yamba?

IF YOU ever want to be truly terrified, swing by the Yamba skate park on any given day.

Angourie assembles strong team to defend home surf

SPRAY: Up-and-coming Angourie surfer Dakoda Walters practises his turns ahead of the Australian Boardriders Battle this weekend.

Australian Boardriders Battle hits Clarence Coast

Grafton does the Time Warpt again

The Time Warpt Dinner and Show is set for the Grafton District Services Club on Saturday night.

Rocky Horror dinner show comes back to Grafton

OPINION: Magpies welcome Binge back to the nest

The Lower Clarence Magpies v Casino RSM Cougars at Maclean Showground. Pictured for the Magpies is Ryan Binge (centre).

Lower Clarence Magpies have good news ahead of AGM.

Race facts and stats a winning combination

Impress colleagues with Melbourne Cup trivia

Birdy's voice soars during concert

English singer Birdy proves her skill during a recent concert.

The singer, 20, has acquired mythical status in the music world

Miley Cyrus finally confirms engagement to Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus.

Eccentric singer confirms long-held rumour

Former Oasis frontman threw popcorn at his brother

The Gallagher brothers have famously feuded for many years.

Oasis brothers still haven't made up

OUR SAY: Why musicians should be called 'tradies'

Should bands be paid every time they play? Journalist and musician Tom Gillespie thinks so.

We need to change the way we think about musicians.

Hits from the stage and screen played live

AFTERNOON DELIGHT: The Clarence Valley Orchestra and Chorus on stage at the Saraton at this year's Anzac concert. Their much-anticipated An Afternoon at the Proms is on this Sunday with special guest Sound of Music star Nicholas Hammond.

From Star Wars to Ben Hur, the Proms is all about TV and movies.

Want to own one of Australia's best restaurants?

TOP GONG: Mooloolaba Spice Bar has been named in TripAdvisor's Top 10 Australian restaurants for 2016.

Here's your chance to pick up one of the Coast's favourite eateries

Maclean's highest house sale this decade

SOLD: Ray White real estate agent Alan Bruchert has just put a new sticker on Maclean's most expensive house to sell in a decade.

Unique riverfront home sells for more than $920,000

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!