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What is Fit for Office?
Fit for Office is a four-week, friendly competition that will run from 25th September to 22nd October 2023 between Federal MP’s and their staff to see who can be the most physically active.
The challenge is an initiative from AUSactive, Australia's peak body for the exercise and active health sector, and MyZone to encourage Australians to be more physically active, more often, to tackle Australia’s inactivity and health crisis and relieve the economic burden on the healthcare system.
The aim of the campaign is to inspire all Australians to be more physically active and spark the conversation about the importance of exercise. Physical inactivity is a major public health issue in Australia.
Why is AUSactive hosting this campaign?
As the peak body for exercise and active health, AUSactive is passionate about promoting exercise as preventative health. This campaign strongly supports the Australian Government’s commitment (in 2018), to the World Health Organisation’s Global Action Plan for Physical Activity and we want to help the government to inspire 15% more Australians to be more active by 2030.
Fit for Office Launch at Parliament House
More than 14 Federal parliamentary members and 70 of their staff have so far signed up for the four-week friendly challenge from 25 September to 22 October to encourage Aussies to be active more often and raise awareness of the importance of regular physical activity.
Why is physical activity important?
Australia is ranked 140th out of 146 countries for the highest physical inactivity levels for adolescents and over 56% of Australian adults are not meeting recommended physical activity guidelines.
Physical inactivity is the second leading risk factor contributing to chronic disease in Australia. Not getting enough physical activity is associated with anxiety and depression and increases the risk of many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, dementia, coronary heart disease, strokes, uterine and breast cancer in females.
Increasing rates of chronic disease are having an alarming impact on workforce productivity, and economic opportunity- the Australian health system spends an estimated $27 billion per annum treating chronic diseases and we spend $450 each year for every man, woman and child in Australia treating mental health issues.
Yet these conditions are somewhat preventable by increasing the physical activity of the population.
We also have a significant opportunity to support older adults to remain independent in their homes through promoting exercise, that prevents age related health conditions such as impaired muscle function that can result in falls and hospitalisation.
Physical activity is an important adjunct approach for managing anxiety and depression because data shows exercise can be 1.5 times more effective than counselling or pharmaceuticals.
Physical activity is also associated with higher levels of workplace productivity that reduce sickness absence, improve performance at work and reduce the risk of mortality.