Exercise & fitness

Lose just 3kg to gain health benefits

New research shows that losing as little as three kilograms could translate into health benefits for many Australians.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) said that if all Australians cut their Body Mass Index (BMI) by just one point for a person of average height, the overall health impact of obesity would drop substantially.

Australians playing less competitive sport

Australia prides itself as a sporting nation but new research has shown that just one in five people now regularly plays competitive sport.

This was down from 27 per cent in 2001, according to the latest data from Roy Morgan Research, which monitors the participation trends in over 60 sports, fitness activities and outdoor leisure pursuits.

Whether one-on-one or team vs team, the number of Australians (aged 14 and over) who regularly play competitive sport has fallen since 2001.

Walking longer can mean shorter stays in hospital

Walking each day can mean fewer days spent in hospital for older people, a new study has found.

Researchers at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Newcastle said that increasing the number of steps taken each day from 4,500 to 8,800 or about three 3kms linked to one less day in hospital every three years.

Coping with chronic knee pain

People with chronic knee pain who live in rural or remote areas could learn new ways to help themselves with lessons delivered via Skype, researchers at the University of Melbourne say.

They have developed an online treatment which has improved symptoms and functioning for people suffering knee osteoarthritis, the main cause of chronic knee pain.

Research trial findings published this week in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest online delivery is the key to greatly improve patient access to effective non-drug treatments. 

Healthy ageing grants to help older Canberrans

Two programs aimed at preventing Alzheimer’s disease and helping older Canberrans stay fit and healthy will receive funding under the ACT’s Healthy Ageing Grants program.

The program is about reducing age-related chronic disease risk factors and promoting healthy lifestyles for older Canberrans, Acting Health Minister Yvette Berry said.

“With an ageing population, we know that age-related chronic disease is an ever-increasing trend that is putting pressure on our health system,” she said.

Cycling program to keep older Canberrans active

Seniors living in Canberra are being urged to stay active and to develop their social connections as part of the Cycling Without Age program.

Starting in Denmark in 2012 and now in 27 countries, the Cycling Without Age program is being managed by Pedal Power ACT.

“Most of us love to ride bikes, but as you get older getting around safely on two wheels can be challenging,” ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris said.

Cycling Without Age helps overcome this by providing chauffer‐ridden trishaw bike trips to places such as parks or cafés.

Golf is good for you

Golf is good for mental health, new research shows.

The sport’s benefits go far beyond the physical, with players commonly reporting below average rates of anxiety, stress and depression.

Roy Morgan Research said its research shows that just over 1.7 million Australian adults – or 9.3 per cent - play golf either regularly or occasionally, putting the sport among the country’s 10 most popular forms of exercise.

Compared with the average Australian aged 18 or over, golfers were less likely to experience depression, stress, anxiety or even panic attacks.

Boys born today expected to live longer

Australian boys born today can expect to live to 80.4 years, up from 75 in 1995, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

But Dr Paul Jelfs, ABS General Manager of Population and Social Statistics, said that boys’ later lifestyle choices, including smoking, alcohol, diet and exercise, could have a big impact on life expectancy.

Fewer men smoke now daily or drink at risky levels but this was offset by more men who are overweight or obese today.

Grants help SA and WA seniors with active ageing

South Australian and Western Australian seniors are being urged to get active and connect with their communities with the help of state government grants.

The first round of South Australia’s 2016/17 Grants for Seniors program has been announced and the state’s Minister for Ageing, Zoe Bettison, said 21 organisations will receive grants of up to $5000 to buy goods that encourage active ageing.

“I’m pleased to see these grants go to more than 20 South Australian organisations that are actively engaging older people,” Ms Bettison said.

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