Lifestyle

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



NSW lightly loosens liquor, lockout laws

Critics say the relaxed lockout laws are still too stringent to promote a thriving night life.

Bottle shops will be allowed to stay open until 11pm

Spotify Summer Tour pops into Valley

The Spotify Summer Tour truck is heading for the Clarence Valley this weekend!

Swedish online music streaming service comes to town bearing gifts

Pedestrian airlifted to hospital following serious crash

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service conducts training exercises with their fleet just outside of Lismore.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Three patients treated at the scene, including a teenager

Local Partners

Spotify Summer Tour pops into Valley

YOU'LL have the chance to win some summer party essentials when the Spotify Summer Tour rolls into town this weekend.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Ready to rumble: Boxing makes long-awaited return to Grafton

DETERMINED: Grafton Amateur Boxing Club members Zac Cotten (Cruiserweight), James Morrison (Jnr Featherweight), Eddie Debono (Super Heavyweight), Rhys Walters (Light Heavyweight), Joseph Pigg (Jnr Welterweight), Jamie Mansfield (Cruiserweight) are prearing for upcoming fight night in Grafton.

Five North Coast title belts up for grabs

Cyclist's 24 hours of pain for mental health

International endurance mountain-bike rider Morgan Pilley is used to pushing through the elements, but this weekend he'll push on to raise money for local mental health services in a charity ride at Junction Hill.

Ride For Youth to raise money for local youth mental health services

How predictable are your Netflix habits?

Stranger Things is taking the world by storm as a new-age nostalgic Sci-Fi Thriller

The new entertainment binging pattern

Kanye West is on the mend now he's back from hospital

Kanye West is more relaxed since returning home from hospital

WATCH: The young Aussie actor playing Barack Obama

A screenshot of the trailer for Barry, a new film from Netflix.

Aussie teen nails Obama's early university years

Boy George named as a coach on The Voice Australia

Iconic pop star Boy George is to appear as a coach on 'The Voice'

The first Baywatch trailer is here, and it's hilarious

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

DWAYNE Johnson and Zac Efron star in TV series reboot.

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Give a little more this Christmas

TIME TO GIVE: Lee Johns, Courtney Smith and Daniel Kelly of Ray White Yamba promote their Little Ray Of Giving Christmas gift appeal.

Call out for presents, big or small

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!