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Royal Life Saving report demonstrates wellness benefits of aquatic facilities

Royal Life Saving report demonstrates wellness benefits of aquatic facilities
December 7, 2017

A newly released report by Royal Life Saving Society - Australia shows that the average visit to Australia’s public pools leads to health benefits worth nearly $27, underlining the importance of ensuring universal access to public swimming pools.

The report, Economic Benefits of Australia’s Public Aquatic Facilities, shows the social cost of physical inactivity in the Australian population, especially among the 40% of Australians who are classified as ‘inactive’.

With only 1% of Australians currently meeting the standard for ‘high physical activity’ as set by the World Health Organization (WHO), the report suggests that even one extra visit to a public swimming pool each week would be enough to shift most ‘inactive’ Australians up to ‘low activity’, cutting their risk of lifestyle-related disease by 16% and saving more than $4,500 per person in the form of better health, reduced medical costs and improved work attendance each year.

These potential health gains mean that the average pool visit might cost $6 to $8, but is worth nearly $27 to Australian society in health gains alone, with the average aquatic facility producing $2.72 million worth of health benefits annually.

Introducing the report, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia Chief Executive Justin Scarr explains “we’re just starting to understand the full range of benefits that come from ensuring access to public swimming pools for water safety, exercise and recreation.

“Public swimming pools help to keep Australians safe, healthy and happy and we need to remember just how much good they can do when thinking about funding for new facilities and much needed upgrades.”

The report outlines the economic burden of physical inactivity in Australia, which costs the health system $3.7 billion each year and leads to death and disability costing $48 billion - accounting for 5% of the overall burden of death and disability in Australia.

Data on Australians’ exercise habits shows that nearly 40% of the population is currently classified as ‘physically inactive’ by WHO standards, as they manage less than 60 minutes of vigorous exercise each week - leading to increased risk of Type II Diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The report underlines the importance of providing all Australians with access to safe, high quality aquatic facilities, not just for much-needed recreation and to help them learn about water safety, but to help them remain active and healthy as well.

Report author Dr. Paul Barnsley adds “we knew going in, that swimming was a great way of keeping active, but we were shocked to find out just how effective even a single weekly swimming pool visit can be in cutting the costs of physical inactivity.

“Now we need to make sure that everyone is in a position to take advantage of those benefits - if we don’t find the money for pools we’ll end up paying for it via the health system.”

Scarr concluded “we want to encourage all Australians to make full use of their local public swimming pool, not only this summer, but throughout the year, and to enjoy the health benefits of swimming.”

For more information go to www.royallifesaving.com.au or click here to view the report.

Images: Aquatic fitness at Bankstown City Council's Wran Leisure and Aquatic Centre (top) and Justin Scarr (below).

5th December 2017 - ALFAQ CALLS FOR GREATER INVESTMENT IN QUEENSLAND’S PUBLIC POOLS

7th September 2017 - DR JOHN TOWER TO MAKE KEY ADDRESSES ON THE VALUE OF LEISURE SERVICES AT 2017 ARV CONFERENCE 

7th August 2017 - RESEARCHERS SAY INNOVATION NEEDED TO ADDRESS INACTIVITY EPIDEMIC

2nd July 2017 - GROUNDBREAKING STUDY SHOWS THE WELLNESS BENEFITS OF SWIMMING 

30th June 2017 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING REPORT REVEALS NON-FATAL DROWNING INCIDENTS ARE ON THE RISE

27th June 2017 - AUSTSWIM FLAGS IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION IN AQUATIC EXERCISE PROGRAM DELIVERY

21st April 2017 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING LAUNCHES NATIONAL AQUATIC INDUSTRY SAFETY AWARDS

6th April 2017 - MASSIVE INTEREST IN STATE SWIM AQUATIC FITNESS PROGRAMS

3rd March 2017 - VISITS TO SUNSHINE COAST COUNCIL’S AQUATIC CENTRES IMPROVE WELLBEING 

15th December 2016 - SUCCESSFUL IN ASIA, AQUASPIN PREPARES TO ENTER AUSTRALIA IN 2017

1st April 2016 - AQUATICS AND RECREATION VICTORIA RELEASES ENERGY BENCHMARKING STUDY FOR AQUATIC CENTRES 

21st May 2014 - LANDMARK RESEARCH INTO ECONOMIC AND HEALTH BENEFITS OF AQUATIC AND RECREATION FACILITIES

5th March 2014 - NOT SWIMMING POOLS BUT AQUATIC WELLNESS CENTRES?

4th November 2013 - PARENTS VALUE SWIMMING AND WATER SAFETY LESSONS ABOVE OTHER OUT-OF-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

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