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Are Australians really as sporty as we’d like to think? New research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates that our nation’s lifestyle is remarkably sedentary, and could be a contributor to the obesity epidemic.
Despite our national affinity for rugby, football and cricket, not even one in five adults are walking the 10,000 daily steps recommended by governments and universities across Australia. By using data from pedometers, the ABS found that even the most active group, 35- to 44-year-olds, only took an average 8,219 steps a day.
According to the survey, the main reasons for the lack of activity are our working environments and electronic addictions.
"One in three workers spent at least three-quarters of their time at work sitting,” explained ABS statistician Dr Paul Jelfs.
“Managers, professionals and clerical/administrative workers spent an average of 22 to 23 hours per week sitting compared to less than four hours for labourers. Working adults also averaged six hours per week sitting for transport.”
Even though a couple of hours unwinding by the television at the end of the day may seem innocuous, it contributes hugely to the amount of time we spend sitting: 39 hours a week, on average. Over the course of a year, men spend the equivalent of 65 days sitting, while women are slightly more active at 61 days.
"Australian adults spent an average of 13 hours a week watching TV,” Dr Jelfs said.
"It all adds up, with men and women spending over two months of each year on sedentary leisure activities including sitting for transport.”
While the survey found that high-earning adults tended to make more time to exercise, it also observed that one in five adults did not even do one minute of deliberate physical activity. This was in stark contrast with the Australian Government’s advice that adults should complete at least half an hour of moderately intense exercise daily. It’s no surprise, then, that 70 per cent of Australian men and 56 per cent of women are overweight or obese.
Because every individual has unique physical needs, it’s essential to get professional advice when beginning an exercise program. Half an hour of daily exercise can sound intimidating, but our experienced exercise physiologist is here to make it an easy achievement for anybody. The Adelaide Bariatric Centre has exercise programs that are tailored to your needs and your lifestyle so that you can come to love getting active. In fact, you can start straight away after your surgery: neither gastric bands nor bypasses limit your physical activity in any way.
IMAGE CREDIT: Ludovic Bertron