Lifestyle Not enough time to keep healthy

Not enough time to keep healthy

One in five Australians aged 25 to 54 years old don’t have time to exercise and eat healthy food, a new study led by ANU has found.

Lead researcher Dr Lyndall Strazdins, from the ANU Research School of Population Health, said results from the first longitudinal study of time as a determinant of health rang alarm bells for health problems including obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

“Everyone knows that it’s harder for people who are poor to be healthy by buying fresh food and a gym membership, but being healthy also takes time,” Dr Strazdins said.

Whether from a lack of time or money, five per cent of people who were otherwise healthy moved into high-risk inactivity and eating habits in a given year. One in ten people had a combination of time and income scarcity which more than doubled their risk of inactivity.

Dr Strazdins analysed the results of the study with Dr Danielle Venn, a labour-market economist from ANU.

“People with time commitments of 70 hours per week, including work, commutes and caring duties, were considered time poor,” she said. “The overworking culture in Australia is entrenched. We need to limit working hours so people can spend more time doing things that are good for their health.”

Read more about the ANU study here. Story credit: ANU newsroom.

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