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ESSA urges Australians to undertake the right kind of exercise
With national Exercise Right Week taking place over the next seven days (23rd to 29th May), recent research from Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) has indicated Australians seemingly have the best intentions but fail miserably on follow-through when it comes to exercising to improve our health.
ESSA’s survey showed that while 85% of Australians want to participate in exercise to improve their health, over 77% of respondents had signed up for an online exercise program of which less than 40% managed to complete.
TV personality and Exercise Right Week ambassador Dr Andrew Rochford believes that while the desire to exercise is definitely a good start, the key issue lies in many Australians not knowing how to exercise right for their body or worse, making ill-informed decisions in the heat of the moment in an attempt to instantaneously obtain their ideal body.
Dr Rochford explains “we live in a society where we seek instant gratification and immediate solutions to our problems.
“On a daily basis we’re confronted with messaging about the importance of looking good, how to lose weight quickly and how celebrities can transform your body within weeks.
“On that basis, for many people the desire to exercise translates into a spur-of-the-moment decision to sign up to a bootcamp they happen to pass on their way home or sitting on the couch and buying an online exercise program randomly advertised on social media.”
Dr Rochford said it was crucial that Australians took a considered approach when selecting a suitable exercise program for their individual needs, emphasising that “the reality is that in order to achieve positive outcomes, we all need be aware of our capabilities and limitations as well as the risks associated to signing up to a one-size-fits-all exercise program.
“We are all unique - whether we look at our physical ability, our health or what stage of life we are in, these factors all play an important role in determining what exercise is appropriate and effective in achieving a healthy lifestyle.”
Dr Rochford said as part of Exercise Right Week celebrations, he looked forward to being part of ESSA’s launch of a free pre-screening Exercise Right Quiz which will help individuals assess how they can exercise using the right professional, in the right place and at the right time.
He added “if you’re not sure where to start, your GP can refer you to an accredited exercise physiologist that will tailor an exercise program for your specific needs. Alternatively, the Exercise Right Quiz can also point you in the right direction based on your personal characteristics. ”
ESSA Chief Executive Anita Hobson-Powell said the free, online tool had been developed to provide Australians with a resource to help put them on an effective exercise journey.
Hobson-Powell stated “the quiz is an evidence-based exercise pre-screening tool that has been developed to give participants accurate information on what type of exercise professional they need to consult. Taking on the wrong exercise with the wrong person can be deadly.
“Participants are asked a series of questions, and based on their responses, are directed to resources that enable them to make informed decisions about their exercise regime.”
“Downloadable PDF profiles will focus on specific health conditions and offer tips on how your job may affect how you should exercise.”
Hobson-Powell said it was important for Australians to avoid being tempted by ‘quick-fix’ online exercise programs and to learn not only how to exercise correctly for their body, but also how to keep moving over the long term to maintain their weight, increase their physical fitness and to be good role models for the next generation.
She added “the truth is that to achieve results, you need behavioural change and ongoing motivation which in most cases can’t be achieved by a daily text message or email telling you to work harder.”
“The low completion rates associated with online exercise programs indicates many people get discouraged and disillusioned about their ability to achieve results when they’re participating in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ program.”
For more information on Exercise Right Week go to www.exerciseright.com.au
Key statistics and figures from Exercise and Motivation Survey (May 2016)
• 85% admit they want to exercise to improve their health
• 44% of respondents have been held back from exercise due to illness/injury
• 50% say a lack of time stops them from exercising
• 77% respondents have signed up for an online exercise program
• Over 60% didn’t complete the online exercise program
• Australians are serious about their health but do not act upon this for a variety of reasons.
• Many Australians are held back from exercising due to illness, injury or a consistent lack of time.
• We are constantly bombarded with “fitspiration” which leads to unrealistic expectations and builds guilt.
• People turn to “online experts” as it seems easy and is marketed effectively.
• Many “online experts” have questionable qualifications.
• This lack of qualifications or adequate goal setting and motivation monitoring skills leads to almost two in three people never completing the exercise program they have signed up for.
• The lack of completion is due to the fact that these exercise programs are ‘cookie cut’ programs – a one size fits all.
• We are all unique and should exercise right for our uniqueness.
24th March 2014 - CONCERNS OVER QUALITY OF CROSSFIT INSTRUCTOR TRAINING
11th May 2013 - SURVEY TO ASSESS RISK MANAGEMENT IN FITNESS
24th July 2013 - ESSA SLAMS GOVERNMENT’S LACK OF ACTION IN SENATE INQUIRY REPORT
23rd February 2012 - DR ANDREW ROCHFORD NAMED AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF FITNESS AMBASSADOR
21st October 2011 - FITNESS NOT FATNESS SHOULD BE MANTRA
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