We always knew it, but the latest Heart Foundation and Deakin University report, Australian Heart Disease Statistics proves it: sitting is bad, movement is good.
An analysis of data from all over Australia shows that people who meet physical activity recommendations have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. While nearly 14,000 deaths annually in Australia were linked with a lack of physical activity.
The Heartstats program has highlighted differences in risk factors between demographic groups in our society. Age is one factor – after 18 we spend more and more time sitting. People who live in disadvantaged areas are also less likely to be active. This suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach to improving our activity levels is not the answer.
The Heart Foundation hopes the statistics will inspire governments to take a more proactive approach to promoting active lives. A national physical activity consensus forum at Parliament House last year highlighted what should be in a national action plan. The Foundation has commitments from all major political parties that will get Australians to move more and sit less.
It shows that to keep Australia healthier, we also need to keep Australia clever, by funding universities to make programs like this possible.