Regular physical activity has many benefits, including reduced risk of chronic disease, improved heart health, and improved mental health and wellbeing.
But despite these benefits, it appears that around three in four Australians may be unaware of the specific benefits physical activity has on their heart health, according to a recent survey conducted by the Heart Foundation.
Only 27 per cent of respondents listed the specific benefits of physical activity for heart/cardiovascular health, with less than one in four (24 per cent) accurately naming three benefits spontaneously, with mental health (46 per cent) and weight loss/management (32 per cent) included among the most common responses.
However, the national survey – which saw close to 3000 Australians take part – also showed that older Australians aged 55 and over (38 per cent) had greater awareness of the benefit of physical activity for heart health compared to their younger counterparts.
The Heart Foundation’s Professor Trevor Shilton said the low levels of awareness of the benefits of physical activity for heart health was concerning.
“The figures also highlight the need for ongoing public education and media campaigns to raise awareness about the many impressive health benefits of everyday physical activity,” Professor Shilton said. “Just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking can cut your risk of heart disease by a third.”
People living with diabetes unfortunately have an increased the risk of developing heart disease. This is because diabetes can damage blood vessels, leading to clogging and narrowing. This can reduce blood flow, which increases the risk of long term complications.
However, regular physical activity is beneficial for people living with diabetes in that it can help manage blood glucose levels, blood pressure and cholesterol, which in turn can reduce the risk of long-term complications.
Source: Heart Foundation