Be Active Australia: A Framework for Health Sector Action for Physical Activity 2005 - 2010

The Australian Health Ministers' Conference in Alice Springs today endorsed the Be Active Australia: A Framework for Health Sector Action for Physical Activity which recognises the contribution of physical inactivity to the growing epidemic of avoidable chronic diseases in Australia.

Page last updated: 28 July 2005

28 July 2005

Joint Communique

The Australian Health Ministers' Conference in Alice Springs today endorsed the Be Active Australia: A Framework for Health Sector Action for Physical Activity which recognises the contribution of physical inactivity to the growing epidemic of avoidable chronic diseases in Australia.

Be Active Australia envisions all Australians benefiting from physical activity as part of everyday life and aims to improve health sector capacity to increase awareness of the health and related benefits of physical activity and better support the community in related lifestyle changes.

Increased physical activity can lead to improvements in such aspects of health as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal health and diabetes. Physical activity may also assist in the reduction of symptoms of depression and reduced risks of developing some cancers.

At present, however, the evidence is that less than half of all adult Australians are sufficiently active for a health benefit and children are pursuing more sedentary leisure activities with alarming health consequences. Estimates suggest that physical inactivity in Australia costs the health care system around $400 million annually and is responsible for about 6% of the total burden of diseases in males and 8% in females.

Be Active Australia strengthens the platform for action on chronic disease prevention that includes national health strategies on nutrition, healthy weight, alcohol and tobacco.

The strategic focus of Be Active Australia is on building public policy and creating supportive environments that enhance the capacity of individuals and communities for physical activity. In raising the profile of physical activity as a major health problem, action will be taken to improve the capacity of the health sector to respond to community needs and contribute to sustainable health improvements.

Media Contact: Richard O’Leary, Media Advisor for NT Minister for Health, Phone No: 08 8901 4118

In this section