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Locals still ‘fat, inactive’

Monday, 4th May, 2015

Far West residents are still among the most obese and physically inactive people across the state, according to new research by the Heart Foundation.

Whilst the Riverina ranked number one of 28 areas included in the study, the Far West wasn’t far behind as an region where people needed to move more and sit less. 

The study found no surprises with residents at Sydney’s wealthy eastern suburbs ranking most healthy.

The research has been revealed in time for National Heart Weekm, which began yesterday.

Heart Foundation NSW Cardiovascular Health Director, Julie Anne Mitchell, said the statistics were both alarming and sobering.

“Far from the image we often have of ourselves being fit, active and outdoorsy, this data shows that over a quarter of New South Wales residents (26.4%) are obese and 55% are living sedentary lifestyles with little or no physical activity in their day.

“The truth is that our waist lines are increasing while our physical activity time is decreasing. Itís time we put this trend in reverse.”

Physical inactivity and obesity are two major risk factors for heart disease. With heart disease claiming 55,000 lives a year or a death every 12 minutes, the Heart Foundation believes it is time we tackled this single biggest killer of Australians head on.

The Heart Foundation is calling for strategies including easy access to public transport, separated bike and walking paths, healthy workplace policies, healthy design of built environments that encourage more recreational activity and education programs that encourage Australians to unplug and play.

“Being active for at least 30 minutes a day is enough to reduce your heart disease risk. Look for every day opportunities to move more and sit less and if group activities appeal to you consider joining a Heart Foundation Walking group in your local area. Itís a great way to stay fit,” said Ms Mitchell.

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