Move for Health

Move for Health Conference

In keeping with our commitments to keep abreast of current evidence and to be more physically active, Appetite recently attended the Move for Health Conference. As part of the Healthier Australia Commitment, The Australian Food and Grocery Council partnered with The Australian Diabetes Council, beyondblue, Osteoporosis Australia, and Exercise Sports Science Australia to host the conference. On arrival we were given a pedometer and challenged to take the most steps over the course of the day in order to win tickets to a footy match.

Kate Carnell, CEO of beyondblue, opened the conference highlighting that the cost of physical inactivity to the Australian economy is an estimated $13.8 billion! And it is second only to tobacco as the largest behavioural risk factor to the burden of chronic disease. Being physically active doesn’t have to cost anything but getting the message out is the tricky part.

Reminiscent of the NSW Food Forum, she stressed that the complex nature of population health requires collaborative efforts to foster large-scale lasting change. But these efforts need an influential champion, adequate financial backing, and perhaps most importantly and often undermined a sense of urgency to achieve success.

Over the day, we learned that being physically active not only benefits your physical and mental health but can lower your risk of disease, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers – so many reasons to follow the Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.

It was refreshing that conference speakers encouraged the audience to stand or even pace around the room during each presentation giving us a chance to up our step count. In keeping with the theme of the conference, there were plenty of stretch breaks incorporated into the program and we were encouraged to try the Five Minute Office Stretches suggested by Exercise is Medicine.

Back in the office, we continue to try to incorporate not only more activity into our work day but less time sitting so we have been holding standing and walking meetings.

Incidentally, with only 5,389 steps the game tickets were not ours for the taking – seems we need to move even more and sit even less!