• Caterina Sullivan

Time to Get off the Sofa to Achieve Goal 3

Updated: Nov 3, 2018



Image credit: Jobim Scheele

When it comes to Goal 3 of the Global Goals, people are very quick to talk about government – how much money is the government putting towards hospitals? What’s happening with Medicare? How is the government looking after our health?

These are all legitimate questions. In partnership with the ministers, shadow ministers and portfolio holders for health at a federal and state level, Global Goals Australia is committed to ensuring we reach the targets set out in Goal 3.

However, we shouldn’t be relying just on government. There’s a very simple way we can make enormous progress towards the achievement of Goal 3.

Wanna know the secret?

It’s time to get off your B-U-T-T!

Yeah, I said it.

Let me break it down for you.

Australians are less active.

This causes more health issues.

The government needs to invest more money in health.

Solution? Don’t be unhealthy.

But what does that mean?

Let’s look at some statistics.

Exercise

Recommended:

The Australian government recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day for children and teenagers and 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate physical activity each week for adults.

Actual statistic:

According to the ABS, children and teenagers, on average, participate in approximately an hour and a half of physical activity each day. Adults spend an average of just over 30 minutes a day engaged in physical activity; however, only 43% of adults actually met the sufficiently active threshold, meaning that over half the population is not participating in enough exercise.

Benefits of increased exercise:

  • Better weight management

  • Reduced risk of heart attack

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Lower blood cholesterol level

  • Lower risk of cancer

  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Stronger bones, muscles and joints

  • Lower risk of osteoporosis

How this translates into saving government money:

Inactivity in Australia is costing the country approximately $805 million per year.

Nutrition

Recommended:

The Healthy Food Guide recommends the following dietary dietary intakes for an average adult:

  • Calories: 1800 – 2350 (Females); 2400 – 3000 (Males)

  • Protein: 45 – 60g (Females); 65 – 80g (Males)

  • Fat: 70g

  • Saturated fat: 24g

  • Carbohydrate: 230 – 310g

  • Fibre: 25 – 30g

  • Sodium: 920 – 2300mg

  • Calcium: 1000 – 1300mg

  • Iron: 18mg (Females aged 18-50); 8mg (Males and aged over 50)

Actual statistic:

Calorie intake in Australia is right on target. However, most Australians (over 95%) do not eat enough vegetables and over half of the population does not eat enough fruit.

Benefits of improved nutrition:

  • Better weight management

  • More energy

  • Improved immunity

  • Higher rate of productivity

  • Elevated mood

  • Clearer thinking

How this translates into saving government money:

Direct costs are estimated to be some $21 billion per year while indirect costs add another $35.6 billion.

Water Consumption

Recommended:

The Australian government recommends 2.6L of water per day for male adults and 2.1L of water per day for female adults.

Actual statistic:

The average Australian adult only drinks about 1L of water per day.

Benefits of increased water consumption:

  • Better weight management

  • Aided digestion

  • Improved immunity

  • Elevated mood

  • Clearer thinking

  • Healthier skin

Sleep

Recommended:

The Australian Centre for Education in Sleep recommends the following:

  • Babies under 1: 14-18 hours throughout the day and night

  • Toddlers: 12-14 hours per 24 hour period

  • Primary school: 10-12 hours per day

  • High school: 8-10 hours per day

  • Adults: 7-9 hours per day

Actual statistics:

Australians spend, on average, 8 hours 31 minutes per day sleeping.

Benefits of increased sleep:

  • Better weight management

  • Lower risk of heart attack

  • Lower risk of cancer

  • Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

  • Improved brain function

  • Better concentration

  • Higher rate of productivity

  • Elevated mood

  • Healthier skin

Alcohol consumption

Recommended:

The Australian government recommends no more than two standard drinks on any day and no more than four standard drinks on any single occasion.

Actual statistic:

One in four men and one in ten women around the country exceed these guidelines.

Benefits of decreased alcohol consumption:

  • Better weight management

  • More energy

  • Improved mental health

  • Elevated mood

How this translates into saving government money:

Consumption of alcohol outside of these guidelines costs Australia over $15 billion per year.

Tobacco Usage

Recommended:

The Australian government recommends no tobacco usage.

Actual statistic:

Currently, 12.8% of Australians smoke tobacco.

Benefits of decreased tobacco usage:

  • Lower risk of heart disease and stroke

  • Lower risk of cancer

  • Lower risk of lung disease

  • Improved fitness

How this translates into saving government money:

Smoking costs the government over $31 billion per year.

The less government needs to invest in health, the more the government can invest in things such as economic empowerment and education and skills training!

So why not try taking on some of the challenges listed above? Share your stories with us on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website by contacting us.

Global Goals Australia strongly encourages everyone to seek the advice of a qualified physician before making any changes to your exercise, nutrition and health regime.

This article was originally published on the Global Goals Australia Campaign website.

#globalgoals #goal3 #goodhealth #wellbeing

Authorised by Caterina Sullivan (2018)

PO Box 6157

O'CONNOR ACT 2602

Australia