Physical activity can prevent unhealthy weight gain and maintain or improve blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Meanwhile, physical inactivity is associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and certain cancers.
Physical inactivity contributes to chronic disease burden:
19% of type 2 diabetes burden
17% of bowel cancer burden
12% of coronary heart disease burden
10% of stroke burden.
Australian Guidelines recommend that adults do at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week (equivalent to around 30 minutes on five or more days). Children should be active for 1-3 hours per day, depending on their age.
Australia's Health 2020 reports that more than half of all adults aren't active enough for health benefits. Eight out of 10 children don't meet the national physical activity recommendations.
We have developed position statements and submissions on physical activity policy. We advocate for environments that support activity, through education campaigns and changes to the built environment.