GET MOVING: Why we’re ranked one of the least active regions
STATISTICS show Wide Bay residents are the fifth worst across the nation when in comes to staying active, with about 75 per cent of adults not keeping themselves physically fit.
With lack of exercise as a leading risk factor for heart disease, there's a cause for concern as Australian Heart Maps shows Wide Bay is among Australia's 10 least active regions.
The Heart Foundation is calling on the state government to step in and help tackle these numbers by investing in the Queensland Walking Strategy.
The Strategy calls to make the state more walking friendly, which the Heart Foundation said needs backing in the upcoming June state budget.
Without wider footpaths, more shade and safe pedestrian crossings, the heart health body warns disease rates will continue to soar and is calling for a $40 million investment, which would build:
- Wider, accessible and connected footpaths
- Shaded and well-lit pathways
- Safe pedestrian crossings
- Way-finding signs
The Sunshine State has seven of the nation's 10 least physically active regions, with Wide Bay falling shortly behind Darling Downs and Ipswich.
The Foundation is also calling for ongoing funding of walking advocacy group Queensland Walks and programs such as Heart Foundation Walking.
Heart Foundation Active Living Manager Sheree Hughes said Queenslanders could reduce their risk of heart disease by up to 35 per cent by walking briskly for 30 minutes a day.
"Walking is a 'wonder drug,' it is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions, plus it is suitable for all ages and fitness levels," Ms Hughes said.
Maryborough local and Heart Foundation Walking Group Leader Paula Main said everyone in her walking group was aged upwards of 50 and it wasn't always "about losing weight".
"(Walking) has so many health benefits, it makes you feel better and gets your blood pumping," Ms Main told the Chronicle.
"It gives me energy and there's the social side to it ... It's good mentally and to get fresh air ... It make you happier."