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ESSA supports 2018 Movember Movement campaign to improve men’s health and wellness
November brings with it the return of the moustache! “Movember” sees Australians band together to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and mental illness. The sad reality is that Australian men have a life expectancy of approximately four years less than their female counterparts, and have a higher mortality rate from most leading causes of death.
With the Movember Foundation encouraging all Australians to #MoveIt and commit to walking or running 60 kilometres over the month (60 kilometres for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour), Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is supporting this initiative by reminding the nation of the importance of exercise for our physical and mental health.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Daniel Berkelmans explains “despite the mounting evidence surrounding the positive impact of exercise on both our physical and mental health, Aussie men just aren’t moving enough. More than half (51%) of Australian males don’t get the recommended levels of physical activity each week.
“Physical activity decreases the risk of developing chronic conditions, such as heart disease, which accounts for 13% of all deaths in Australian men – the leading cause of death. It also decreases the risk of, and helps to manage, poor mental health conditions.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, seven out of 10 Australian men are overweight or obese. Research has shown that obesity is a major risk factor for chronic conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and impaired psychosocial functioning.
When it comes to mental health, Australian men aren’t fairing any better. One in seven Australian men experiences depression or anxiety (or both) in any given year, and approximately half will experience a mental illness over their lifetime. Suicide is the leading cause of death for males aged 15 to 44, and men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Berkelmans adds “an active lifestyle is the most powerful way for a man to remain healthy. We know that regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce and manage many chronic conditions, such as obesity and heart disease, and improve mental health, and that’s what makes it so vital for a healthy body and a healthy mind.
“Movember’s #MoveIt campaign supports all Australian men, and all those who care for them, to go the distance and stop men dying too young. It’s encouraging men to ‘make man time’ and have open conversations about their health. Physical activity can be a great way to ‘break the ice’ and start those conversations.”
The Federal Department of Health recommends that adults accumulate a minimum of 150 moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, including at least two strength sessions. However, the exercise experts, such as Accredited Exercise Physiologists, will tell you that doing something is better than doing nothing at all – every little bit of active movement counts.
“Whether you’re raising money for the campaign or just raising your own heartbeat, use Movember as a chance to hit the pavement, or gym, or local swimming pool to engage in some physical activity that will benefit both your physical and mental health.”
Exercise Right’s tops tips to get moving this Movember:
- Grab a mate – working out with others increases adherence
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Park further away from work
- Take a “walking meeting” to reduce time spent sitting at work
- Join a team – sports are a great way to stay motivated
- Get off the bus/train a couple of stations earlier
- Do what you enjoy! Movement is key, whether you’re working out in a gym or dancing
- Just move – even if it’s just 10 minutes – every little bit counts
As always, exercise should be conducted under the guidance of an exercise professional, especially if you have any health concerns, chronic conditions or are new to physical activity.
26th September 2018 - ESSA flags that Australians don’t need a gym membership to be active
28th September 2017 - ESSA highlights how physical activity is beneficial for all ages
26th September 2017 - ESSA Relaunches Exercise Right for Kids
11th August 2017 - ESSA expresses concern over reliance on online exercise advice
8th February 2017 - ESSA concern over falling fitness levels among Australian children
13th January 2015 - ESSA reveals 66Fit as major sponsor for student members
9th February 2014 - New physical activity guidelines double recommended adult activity levels
8th October 2013 - ESSA calls for further disability funding
24th July 2013 - ESSA slams Government’s lack of action in Senate Inquiry report
15th December 2012 - Obesity killing three times as many as malnutrition
12th March 2012 - ESSA conference attracts international keynotes
2nd September 2011 - Global governments must ‘get tough on obesity’
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