Saturday 18 June 2016
CAS welcomes Labor $300m commitment to preventative health
The Confederation of Australian Sport welcomes the Labor commitment of $300 million towards health promotion and disease prevention announced by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Health Minister Catherine King in Wyong earlier today.
“In particular CAS applauds the commitment to establishing Australia’s first National Physical Activity Strategy as an important step towards combating unacceptably high levels physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour,” said CAS President and CEO Rob Bradley.
An important ingredient of the National Physical Activity Strategy will be to foster and encourage community sporting clubs and physical activity through the school system to provide the foundation for a healthy active lifestyle. Australia’s 20,000 community sport clubs already contribute significantly to the required levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity (MVPA) which is essential for individual health improvement but many clubs need help.
We regularly hear that the Health system is under stress and that the costs of obesity and related conditions cost the nation more than $60 billion each year. It is essential that the next Australian Government invests strongly in preventative health strategies to reduce the increasingly unsustainable reliance on the health system.
While over 14 million Australians participate in organised or non-organised sport each year only 19% of children (5-17 years) and 43% of adults currently meet the Australian Government’s Physical Activity Guidelines. With a targeted strategy and commitment to assist the sport, education and health sectors work together on increasing participation in physical activity there are huge benefits to be gained for individuals as well as the economy.
“A 2014 Deakin Health Economics1 report estimates that a 15% improvement in the levels of Australians meeting the national Physical Activity Guidelines would save the Health system over $434m per year, avoid 3,000 deaths and 10,000 new cases of disease,” said Bradley.
Community sport is an integral, inclusive and traditional part of Australian society readily accessible across the nation through an extensive, established and scalable network – it is essential that sport is strongly supported in the National Physical Activity Strategy as a highly effective instrument in preventative health.
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Media enquiries can be directed to:
President and CEO Confederation of Australian Sport