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Time for Australian men to be more physically active

Time for Australian men to be more physically active
March 19, 2015

Less than half of Australian men aged between 25 and 75 years of age are ‘sufficiently active, and Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is challenging them to break the cycle.

Commenting on the low levels of activity among adult Australian males, ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist Katie Williams explains "the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that only 44.6% of men surveyed are sufficiently active, that’s a pretty dismal result considering Australians pride themselves on being an active and sporting nation.

“When you break down the results the worst offenders are those aged between 55-75 years old where there is a clear drop off inactivity levels.

"This goes to show that as we get older, we start to lose focus on our physical activity levels and health.”

According to the Australian Psychological Society, Australian men’s health and life expectancy has improved significantly when looking over the last five decades. However, there is one alarming fact that still remains in that ‘men’s average life expectancy remains substantially lower than that of women’.

Williams states "the same research shows that not only do men not seek support of healthcare professionals but as the get older they lack the strong social networks that provide them with support for their physical activity needs."

The main offenders in terms of causing men physical health problems in Australia include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer.

Williams adds "many of these conditions can either be prevented or managed with physical activity under the supervision of an expert accredited exercise physiologist, so why aren’t men moving as much as they should?”

“Exercise can enhance your health, happiness, productivity in the workplace and energy levels – so why not build more movement into your day for both your own benefit and for those people most important to you.”

The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years) suggests that to be sufficiently active you must accumulate 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75-150 minute of vigorous  physical activity a week, or a combination of these types of activity.

Williams concludes “with these numbers in mind, men need to take control, get off the couch and get out and about.

"Let’s get the idea started that real men exercise!”

Williams tips for those new to physical activity:

1.Seek the advice of an expert: If you have any concerns about your health or where to start, talk to your GP or your local accredited exercise physiologist.
2.Connect with local sports teams: Get online or use community noticeboards to see if there are any sports teams to join. Whether it’s soccer or bowls, there is always some fun way to get moving with others.
3.Treat yourself to the latest technology: If you have a love for gadgets, buy yourself a gift that will get you off the couch. Perhaps a portable music player to listen to your favourite artists or a fitness tracker to count your steps and distance.
4.Connect with the family: Why don’t you use your children or grandkids as an excuse to get moving. Organised catch ups at the local park for a game of cricket or footie.
5.If it hurts, stop: One of the most important things to remember is, if you feel like your body is hurting more than it should – stop! It is far better to build up your fitness levels rather than going too hard and giving up.

For more information visit the Exercise & Sports Science Australia website at

Image courtesy of Centennial Parklands.





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