Australians are being urged to jump off the sofa and ‘quit the sit’ as a new survey reveals we’re a population of couch potatoes.
The Health of the Nation survey, commissioned by News Corp Australia and leading health brand Body+Soul, reveals we are overweight, battling chronic illnesses, sitting in front of screens for eight hours or more a day, exercising too little and many of us never throw or kick a ball with our kids.
Which is why News Corp will tomorrow launch the Health of the Nation campaign to help Australians kickstart their health journey in 2024 and make better choices to feel stronger and live healthier.
Health of the Nation ambassador and leading trainer Sam Wood said inactive parents were probably unaware that their own habits would ultimately be reflected on future generations of children.
“Without action, kids are at risk of becoming sitting ducks for poor health,” Wood said.
The survey of 3000 Australians found only 50 per cent of parents play outside with their children for 1-3 hours each week and one in four parents have never thrown or kicked a ball with their children.
“That statistic really worries me. We know that overweight unhealthy kids become overweight unhealthy adults and it’s really important before they are independent that we lead by example and help by getting outside and getting active with them,” Wood said.
AFLW player Libby Birch and fitness guru Sam Wood are encouraging Aussies to stop being couch potatoes and look after their health. Picture: David Caird
Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO of VicHealth, said Australia is experiencing a slow-motion epidemic of chronic disease.
“The average Australian can now expect to experience 13 years of pain and suffering at the end of our lives due to preventable disease,” he said.
He said chronic illness is affecting Australians earlier and earlier with teenagers now experiencing adult-onset illnesses, but said it’s never too late to make improvements.
“Whether you are 80 or eight, it’s never too late to start. Health of the Nation is an initiative that it as important for teenagers as it is for grandmas and grandpas.”
To help educate Australians on how to make simple changes, the Health of the Nation series will this week draw on the latest science and expert advice to break down simple steps for better health in eight specific life stages, from preconception and childhood through to old age.
Health of the Nation campaign ambassador Sam Wood runs for health with Port Melbourne Nippers. Picture: David Caird
Wood said it’s not as hard as Aussies think to turn their health situations around.
To help, he is offering all Australians a free eight-week health club so we can leave our ‘couch slouch’ generations behind and get moving.
“If people can simply eat a little better and move a little more than one plus one equals three and they can see big differences,” Wood said.
Leading trainer Sam Wood is offering Aussies a free 8-week health club to get them moving and eating well.
Nazia Jamil, husband Nav and sons Mahib, 9, and Arish 6, are the first family to sign up to Health Club and they hope to be more active, feel stronger and have the kids eating more vegetables after eight weeks on the online workout and nutrition program.
Two-time All Australian AFLW player and ambassador for rebel, Libby Birch, said having parents that supported her playing sport was her “saviour as a child” because she didn’t fit in at school.
“But you don’t have to play competitive sport to get the physical and mental benefits. You can do a gym session, ride your bike or walk to work. Those choices can make you a really healthy person.”
WHAT IS THE OVERALL HEALTH IN AUSTRALIA?
Latest medical research shows Australians’ sedentary and junk food rich lifestyle is not only expanding our waistlines, it’s shrinking our brains and driving 12.6 million of us into chronic illnesses including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia.
One in four parents never throw or a kick a ball with their children. Only half take their children outdoors to play 1-3 hours a week.
And we’re a population of couch potatoes with half of us in the high-risk category of sitting for 8 hours or more a day and spending just 42 minutes exercising.
Six in 10 Australians agree they are overweight and 80 per cent concede they need to be more active — but we’re too lazy to do anything about it.
Latest medical research shows Australians’ sedentary and junk food rich lifestyle is leading to chronic illness.
Wood’s online workout and nutrition program will include general, low-impact and advanced fitness workouts, meal plans, motivation and mindfulness tools and videos, and support and encouragement from Sam Wood and his team.
No credit card is required for the Health Club, which starts on February 5, but you can sign up from today at 28bysamwood.com/health-club