Heart Foundation launches program to save lives

According to the Heart Foundation, The Central Coast region ranks 17th out of 28 NSW regions for hospital admissions due to heart attacks.

The Coast also ranks 18th for deaths related to coronary heart disease with a rate of 62.3 deaths out of 100,000 people which is below the NSW average.

Our region ranks 15th in hospitalisations due to coronary heart disease with a rate of 45.2 people hospitalised for every 10,000, which is in line with the NSW average.

The Heart Foundation has launched a new program to motivate more people to walk more regularly, as new research has revealed that Australians have a very high complacency about heart health and physical activity.

The organisation surveyed more than 7,000 adults, and 65 percent of respondents said that they knew exercise could lower their risk of heart disease, which is Australia’s leading cause of death.

The survey also found that 65 percent of respondents said that they did not meet the Australian physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day.

44 percent of surveyed individuals said that they have been told by their doctor that they need to be more active.

“Our research suggests that while many Australians know that movement is good for their hearts, and they have been advised by their doctor to be more active, they are not acting on this,” said Heart Foundation CEO, Adjunct Professor John Kelly.

Of the adults living on the Coast, 66 percent are not doing enough physical activity, 35 percent are considered obese and 17 percent smoke.

All of these factors increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

The Central Coast has one of the lowest rates of high blood pressure, but despite this, about one in five adults in the region have elevated blood pressure, another risk factor for heart diseases.

To encourage more Australians to get moving, the Heart Foundation has launched its Personal Walking Plan.

In this free program, participants will receive a tailored walking plan designed for any activity level which is identified in a simple two minute sign up process.

The program runs for six weeks, and participants receive weekly emails and text messages with their plan designed to support and motivate them, and it delivers information about the benefits of walking beyond fitness and heart health.

“This is a vital component of the Personal Walking Plan, because as our survey shows, simply understanding that physical activity is good for the heart does not equate to getting off the couch,” Professor Kelly said.

“Over this six-week journey with us, participants will learn about some of the lesser known benefits of regular walking, like unwinding at the end of a stressful day, exploring their neighbourhood, becoming stronger and more flexible, and improving their mood, this is in addition to other incredible health benefits from walking.”

The Heart Foundation’s Personal Walking Plans have been developed by the organisation’s experts in physical activity and exercise science, with input from consultants at Exercise and Sports Science Australia.

“Walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of not only heart disease, but also stroke, diabetes, dementia and some cancers.

It can also help maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.

“That is why we often call walking a wonder drug, if it were a medicine, we would all be taking it daily for longer, healthier, happier lives,” Professor Kelly said.

“By highlighting the unique and holistic benefits of walking, we are confident of recruiting an enthusiastic new generation to our Heart Foundation Walking family, while also continuing our mission to save Australian lives from heart disease.”

Media Release, Mar 29
The Heart Foundation