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Aussies alarmingly complacent about exercise and heart health: new data

The Capital region that includes the Eurobodalla ranks 7th out of 28 NSW regions for heart attack hospital admissions. The region’s rate of heart attack hospital admissions is 17.5 out of every 10,000 people. This is about 21% above the NSW state average.

The Capital region is in the top 10 in NSW for deaths from coronary heart disease, ranking 7th out of 28 regions. The death rate in this region is 73.9 out of every 100,000 people, which is about 15% above the state average.

The Capital region is also in the top 10 for heart disease hospitalisations, ranking 9th out of the 28 regions in NSW. The rate of hospitalisations from heart disease in this region is 49.6 out of every 10,000 people, about 9% above the state average.

In terms of heart disease risk factors, around 35% of adults living in the Capital region are obese; 16% smoke; 66% are not active enough for good health; and just over 23% have high blood pressure. The Capital region includes the following Local Government Areas: Bega Valley

Eurobodalla

Goulburn Mulwaree

Hilltops

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional

Shoalhaven

Snowy Monaro Regional

Snowy Valleys

Upper Lachlan Shire

Wingecarribee

Yass Valley The Heart Foundation has launched a program to motivate more people to take up regular walking, as new research reveals Australians’ alarmingly high complacency about physical activity and heart health. The Heart Foundation say that a survey of more than 7,000 Australian adults, two in three (65%) said they know that exercise can lower their risk of heart disease, the nation’s single leading cause of death. "Yet concerningly, two-thirds of these people also said that they do not meet Australian physical activity guidelines (30 minutes of moderate physical activity five or more days a week). At the same time, 44% of survey respondents said they have been told by their doctor that they need to be more active. “Our research suggests that while many Australians know that movement is good for their hearts, and they have been advised by their doctor to be more active, they are not acting on this,” said Heart Foundation Group CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly. “Overall, around one in two Australians aged 18 to 64 – that’s almost eight million people – are not active enough for good heart health. This is extremely concerning given physical inactivity is a key risk factor for heart disease, which takes 50 Australian lives each day, or one every 29 minutes.” To encourage more Australians to get moving, the Heart Foundation has launched its Personal Walking Plans. In this free, six-week program, participants will receive a walking plan tailored to their current activity levels, as identified during an easy, two-minute sign-up process. Plans will be delivered via weekly emails and texts, which are designed not only to support and motivate participants, but also to deliver information about the many benefits of walking beyond fitness and heart health. “This is a vital component of the Personal Walking Plans, because as our survey shows, simply understanding that physical activity is good for the heart does not equate to getting off the couch,” Professor Kelly said. “Over this six-week journey with us, participants will learn about some of the lesser-known benefits of regular walking, like unwinding at the end of a stressful day; exploring their neighbourhood; becoming stronger and more flexible; and improving their mood.” This is in addition to walking’s other incredible health benefits, Professor Kelly said. “Walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of not only heart disease, but also stroke, diabetes, dementia and some cancers. It can also help maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. “That’s why we often call walking a ‘wonder drug’. If it were a medicine, we would all be taking it daily for longer, healthier, happier lives. “By highlighting the unique and holistic benefits of walking, we are confident of recruiting an enthusiastic new generation to our Heart Foundation Walking family, while also continuing our mission to save Australian lives from heart disease.” The Heart Foundation’s Personal Walking Plans have been developed by the organisation’s experts in physical activity and exercise science, with input from consultants at Exercise and Sports Science Australia. To get started with a free Heart Foundation Personal Walking Plan, visit Walking.org.au


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