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AUSActive’s Barrie Elvish ‘frustrated’ by physical activity and exercise levels shown in new ABS data

AUSActive’s Barrie Elvish ‘frustrated’ by physical activity and exercise levels shown in new ABS data
December 22, 2023

Findings in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ just released National Health Survey 2022 which show more three in four Australians fail to meet recommended physical activity guidelines for their age group have disappointed AUSactive Chief Executive Barrie Elvish.

Speaking to Australasian Leisure Management about the results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey, Elvish advised that that the data “is yet again another poor report card on the nation’s physical activity and exercise participation rates.

“Although the data is almost 12 months old and doesn’t fully correlate with the more up to date AusPlay data the scenario it describes is still not a pretty picture., and in any case we have heard it all before.

“However, what is particularly frustrating is the ongoing lack of cross referencing within government departments including the ABS, Treasury, Health, Aged Care, NDIS and Employment as they all have a vested interest in the data.

“The ABS task is to report the cold statistics, Treasury is worried about Australia’s falling productivity, health is struggling to manage what is in effect a national sick care system and although Australians are living longer, for many a longer lifespan is not necessarily equating with a longer health span. And as with those with a disability, the aged are more likely to experience comorbidity issues.

“There is an ignored common thread here that has the potential to positively impact all these entrenched problems, and assist Budget pressures, if only the various departments would stop developing silo-based policies.

“Recent research reported in the Harvard Business Review has found that regular physical activity and exercise has a three-way positive benefit for productivity by increasing cognitive function, improving sleep and boosting workplace morale. The role of physical activity in preventing poor health outcomes, both physical and mental, is well established. Keeping people out of the sick system is the best way to both improve Australia’s health outcomes and the Health Budget.

“As people age, they are more likely to experience falls which are Australia’s leading cause of injury hospitalisation and death. Research indicates the best strategy to reduce the risk of falls is to undertake an exercise regime that focuses on balance and strength training. Physical activity and exercise also improves the health and wellbeing of people with a disability, reduces the incidence of comorbidity and builds social connections.

“If government departments, especially policy makers, were to talk to each other more often, they would discover many of their bureaucratic portfolio challenges were interrelated. Just as importantly they might discover some common solutions.”

Related Articles

21st December 2023 - New ABS release contains key statistics and information about exercise and physical activity

5th December 2023 - Healthy Ageing Summit 2024 to address strengthening leadership in fast growing market

28th November 2023 - Technogym founder Nerio Alessandri continues to drive Exercise as Medicine and wellness economy initiatives

17th November 2023 - AusFitness Expo and AUSactive announce two-year partnership

9th November 2023 - David Aitchison and Mel Tempest elected as AUSactive Directors

3rd November 2023 - AUSactive to consult members on industry accreditation

25th October 2023 - AUSactive announces business member partnership with Australasian Federation of Traditional Karate and Kobudo

23rd October 2023 - AUSactive announces highest achievers in its Fit For Office challenge

5th October 2023 - AUSactive appoints One Playground founder Justin Ashley to new Career Ambassador role

4th October 2023 - AUSactive’s Barrie Elvish explains the importance of Mental Health Month

16th September 2023 - AUSactive Awards 2023 celebrate the fitness and wellbeing industry’s highest achievements

4th September 2023 - AUSactive campaign calls on Federal Parliamentarians to be ‘Fit for Office’

1st August 2023 - AUSactive to stage ‘Mini MBA in a Day’

6th July 2023 - AUSactive invites industry input in predicting hottest fitness trends for 2024

6th March 2023 - AUSactive highlights urgent need for Federal Budget to prioritise physical activity

25th January 2023 - AUSactive calls for boldness and creativity in Federal health system review

30th December 2022 - AUSactive survey suggests fitness programs for older adults will be key exercise trend in 2023

24th October 2022 - AUSactive Awards recognise excellence in Australia’s fitness industry

13th October 2022 - AUSactive gains peak body recognition in Western Australia

2nd September 2022 - AUSactive highlights industry-wide jobs and skills shortage


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