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37 compelling reasons why Australia needs a National Physical Activity Action Plan

37 compelling reasons why Australia needs a National Physical Activity Action Plan
December 9, 2015

An unprecedented overview of physical activity and public health across the globe has reinforced the need for a comprehensive policy response in Australia, according to the Heart Foundation.

The Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA) unveiled the latest Physical Activity Country Cards, including for Australia, at an announcement in London last week.

The Observatory is a council of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH).

Adjunct Professor, Trevor Shilton, of the National Heart Foundation and Chairman of the Global Advocacy for Physical Activity, said of the 131 participating countries, 37 have specific national plans for the promotion of physical activity and another 65 include physical activity as part of plans for the prevention of non-communicable diseases.

Professor Shilton explained “this does not include Australia as yet, however, the opportunity still exists for the Federal Government to develop and implement a comprehensive, funded National Physical Activity Action Plan.

“The need for action is all too clear, with only 43% of Australian adults active enough for good health, ranking us 94th out of the 131 participating countries.

“That’s why the Heart Foundation along with partner organisations have been advocating strongly for a nationally coordinated policy response.

“The early signs are encouraging, with the major political parties now acknowledging that physical inactivity is a major risk factor for chronic disease – Australia’s leading health challenge.”

Professor Shilton said the release of the Physical Activity Country Cards represented an historic opportunity for policy-makers to implement a popular and cost-effective reform of benefit to all Australians.

He added “if 37 other countries, including notable examples like the United States and the United Kingdom, see fit to implement a national physical activity plan, then there’s no good reason for us not to follow suit.

“We already have the foundations in place with the recent release of the ‘Move More, Sit Less’ Canberra Communique.

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

“What’s needed now is a commitment from all parties to develop and fund a National Physical Activity Action Plan. Proceeding without a funded plan is no longer an option.”

Countries/autonomous territories with National Physical Activity Plans include: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia FYR, Mexico, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Wales.

8th December 2015 - TECHNOGYM HELPS AMBARVALE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS EMBRACE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE

22nd November 2015 - AUSTRALIA NEEDS A NATIONAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY ACTION PLAN

21st October 2015 - NEW ZEALAND PLAN TO REDUCE CHILDHOOD OBESITY

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24th April 2015 - AUSTRALIA RANKED AMONG WORLD’S WORST FOR STRATEGIES TO INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

24th February 2014 - HEART FOUNDATION RESEARCH SHOW HEALTH RISKS INCREASING AS AUSTRALIA GETS HEAVIER


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