With sitting having been dubbed the ‘new smoking’ by many health-industry professionals, a range of Australia’s leading entertainers, chefs and elite athletes have joined forces with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) for the month of November to spur Australians into getting active.
More than 20 high-profile celebrities have jumped behind the cause, revealing their top reasons for exercising as part of the ‘30 days, 30 reasons to exercise’ campaign.
ESSA executive officer Anita Hobson-Powell said it wasn’t just the fitness benefits – or, in the case of elite athletes, the lure of medals and representing Australia – that drove the celebrities to hit the pool, gym or great outdoors.
‘All Australians can start reaping these same rewards if they simply make the effort to get active.’
Ms Hobson-Powell said now was the time for Australians to start taking their future into their own hands, with a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealing some of the least active among us – those who spend an average of six hours per day in front of the TV – are likely to live an average of almost five years less than their more active counterparts.
‘The statistics are truly alarming. According to the research, every hour of TV viewed after the age of 25 has the potential to reduce the viewer’s life expectancy by more than 20 minutes,’ Ms Hobson-Powell said.
‘I hope the encouragement of these highly revered celebrities will help to inspire people of all ages to get active.
‘The reality is that physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death owing to non-communicable disease worldwide, contributing to more than three million preventable deaths each year.
‘If we’re to have any hope of creating a healthy Australia and maintaining it for generations to come, we need to take action now.’
As part of the ‘30 days, 30 reasons to exercise’ campaign, ESSA is inviting Australians to tell them what motivates them to exercise. Participants will have the chance to win an iPad mini. To enter, visit www.facebook.com/myessa.org.au during November. For further information, visitwww.exerciseright.com.au/30for30.