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Australian Government supports Walk to Work Day

2008-10-09

On October 3rd, the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, took part in Walk to Work Day by stretching her legs with CEO of Good Health Solution, Dr John Lang, and staff and Chairperson of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, Harold Scruby, in Sydney.

The Australian Government wants to encourage Australians of all ages to take some time tomorrow to go for a walk - and hopefully continue the habit as part of a regular exercise schedule. Physical activity is good for your health. By walking to work, parking further away, or getting off public transport a few stops early, Australians can help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke - while also benefiting their mental health.

Around half of all Australians adults do not do enough physical activity. But a simple brisk walk for at least 30 minutes most days can have health benefits. Physical inactivity and poor diet are major factors in the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. More than half of all Australian adults are now overweight or obese. Physical inactivity and a poor diet are also risk factors for a number of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Walk to Work Day, established by the Pedestrian Council of Australia and funded by the Australian Government, encourages regular walking and physical activity by all Australians.

Walk to Work Day complements the Government's agenda for tackling obesity, which includes initiatives such as the establishment of the National Preventative Health Taskforce, $12.8 million to roll out the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program to 190 schools across the country, $46.8 million for 95 community projects to provide sporting and recreational opportunities, $17.6 million for 190 school and community groups under the Healthy Active Community and School program to promote healthy and active lifestyles, and support for Heart Foundation Walking, a program which encourages people to join community-based walking groups around Australia, which are free.

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