Building healthier communities
The advantages of an active lifestyle are reflected in better physical and mental health.
A life and cost-saver
Physical activity is an important factor in maintaining good overall health and wellbeing, physically and mentally. Apart from the personal pay-off, the community also benefits economically, by less demand on health services.
Physical inactivity is estimated to be responsible for 16,178 premature deaths per year in Australia and corresponds to a direct loss of 1.8 working days per average Australian worker per year, or an annual cost of $458 per employee (Medibank, 2008). That’s a doubling of the rate in six years (Bauman, et al, 2002).
Participation in physical activity provides clear benefits in the five Australian national health priorities:
- Cardiovascular disease prevention
- Diabetes prevention and control
- Primary prevention of some cancer
- Injury prevention
- Promoting mental health.
Physical activity can contribute to higher levels of self-esteem, motivation and self-worth. It can contribute to the prevention of obesity, relieve symptoms of arthritis and positively influence the immune system. It helps people improve and maintain cognitive abilities into older age, and may prevent the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.