The race to improve physical activity



TYPE Prevention Centre News

This urgent issue was raised during an international webinar presenting the findings from our four-year project on employing physical activity to prevent chronic disease. The event was held during the Global Week for Action on NCDs as part of the Prevention Centre’s ongoing advocacy to ‘Act on NCDs’.

Research Officer Tracy Nau said little has improved over the past 25 years on physical activity in Australia and a systems approach would offer the ability to further much needed action in order to meet the World Health Organization goal of reducing physical inactivity by 15% by 2030. The project developed a number of practical resources including a conceptual systems map for physical activity, and a world-first comprehensive guide on systems approaches for physical activity Getting Australia Active III.

These resources offer models and frameworks that can help drive actions and cross-agency collaboration according to Lead Investigator Professor Adrian Bauman AO who said Australia is one of the few high income countries without any national strategy or plan.

We’ve been looking for a national strategy on physical activity for over a decade in Australia. It is difficult with several jurisdictions but we need national leadership in this area.

Professor Adrian Bauman AO

The work of the ASAPa team through this project will help inform national action and the findings have been shared with policy makers to stimulate discussions across systems and governments.

Adjunct Professor Bill Bellew said the research had also highlighted the ongoing need for a national, and consistent, physical activity surveillance system to inform and drive policy.

You can read the final report, findings brief and related publications and access a recording of the webinar presentation through links on this page.