It is time to stop blaming individuals and look to build a nation that supports more Australians to be more active!
Over six million Australians aged between 18 and 64 are not active enough to gain the range of physical, mental and social health benefits that come with increased physical activity.
But all too often, those people who are not active or not active enough, are shamed and labelled as lazy. Or they are bombarded with unrealistic messages about being more active that discourage, rather than motivate them. And this blame approach means the Australian public is missing out.
Being physically active for 30 minutes, five times per week is sufficient:
- to prevent one in 12 deaths
- to reduce risk of developing over 35 different chronic diseases
- is also an effective treatment for many chronic illnesses.
The Australian Government and stakeholders have successfully helped many Australians quit smoking by thinking broadly about the problem. They realised telling people to quit would never work.
Then why do we think just telling an individual to exercise more will work?
The ability to lead an active life is complex. For example, it can be influenced by age, gender, income, education levels or the place people live. This means that sometimes a person’s ability to be active is compromised by factors outside his or her own control.
We are calling on the Australian Government, stakeholders and communities to recognise the benefits of living an active life and accept responsibility for creating a nation that can help people’s efforts to be active.