PDF version: Healthy Heart Initiative – targeted activities (PDF 124 KB)
The measure will provide $10 million to the Heart Foundation to increase access to walking and other physical activity programs, and to establish the Prime Minister’s Walk for Life Challenge to support up to 300,000 Australians to become new regular walkers.
Funding will also be provided to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners for a new $5 million Healthy Heart Initiative to develop education and training material for GPs to support Australians to achieve a healthy lifestyle through increased physical activity and better nutrition.
The funding is in addition to $10 million the Government is providing to preventive health research with a grant to the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre under the Medical Research Future Fund.
Why is this important?Only 30 per cent of Australian children aged between five and 17 years currently meet physical activity guidelines, and this participation rate declines with age from 36 per cent of five to eight-year-olds to just six per cent of 15 to 17-year-olds.
Recent studies such as the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Burden of Disease report have highlighted the impact of preventable diseases on the health of Australians. Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are key risk factors for preventable disease.
The Prime Minister’s Walk for Life Challenge is designed to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity and promote a national conversation on being more active. It consists of two parts – encouraging innovative physical activity ideas in school, university and community environments, and increasing physical activity among all Australians through a 10,000 steps a day challenge, working with the Heart Foundation.
Through the GPs Healthy Heart Partnership, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners will be funded to provide information about healthy lifestyles including healthy diets, more physical activity and other chronic disease risk factors.