Physios Launch Australia's Biggest Killer Campaign

By Petrina Smith
Tuesday, 30 September, 2014

Australia's sedentary culture contributes to the death of more than 7200 people each year, prompting the Australian Physiotherapy Association to launch its Australia's Biggest Killer campaign.
APA President Marcus Dripps says the nation's sedentary culture is part of the complex and widespread problem of obesity and other related health diseases. The Australia's Biggest Killer campaign is urging all Australians to get moving regularly throughout the day as part of the solution to tackle the obesity epidemic.
“We’ve become accustomed to sitting down more than we sleep throughout the day – at work, on the couch, in the car – and it’s taking a major toll on our health,” Mr Dripps said.
Research shows more than 6.4 million Australians are doing less than an hour and a half of physical activity each week[2]. Research also shows time spent sitting is associated with being overweight or obese, unhealthy blood-glucose and blood-lipid profiles, and premature death from heart disease[3].
 With obesity and overweight conditions affecting 70 per cent of men and around 25 per cent of children[4],[5], and costing Australia annually around $1 billion and $4 billion[6],[7], the APA is calling for increased information, advice and support to help Australia get moving.
“We all need to be moving more – not just exercising for 30 minutes – but regularly throughout the day. Mounting evidence shows even basic regular movement like standing up while at work can help prevent health issues like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer.”
The APA says physiotherapists are seeing a surge in the number of patients treated for weight management. A recent pilot study found 81 per cent of physiotherapists viewed weight management as a component of their scope of practice and 85 per cent reported they had engaged in weight management strategies with their patients.[8]
“Individuals, community groups, healthcare professionals, governments and industry should be all part of the team to tackle the complex issue of obesity and overweight in Australia – and physiotherapists are in an ideal position to be a major part this group,” Mr Dripps said.
“Healthcare professionals including physios, GPs, psychologists and dieticians need to work more in partnership to support individuals who are or are at risk of being overweight and obese.
“As experts in physical activity, weight management, heart disease and diabetes prevention physiotherapists can treat individuals, while sharing the wider public health message about obesity prevention."
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