The Heart Foundation has launched a new program to get people moving and prevent heart disease.
The Heart Foundation has launched a new program to get people moving and prevent heart disease.

New data shows alarming heart health stats in Wide Bay

While the covid pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the state, new data has revealed there's another health issue people shouldn't be complacent about.

In the Wide Bay region alone, 70 out of every 10,000 people are hospitalised for coronary heart disease, a staggering 30 per cent more than the state average.

The disease's death rate in the Wide Bay region is 78.6 per 100,000 people, 10 per cent higher than the state's average.

As well as those alarming numbers, 23.8 per cent of adults in the Wide Bay have high blood pressure, 35.6 per cent are obese and just under 20 per cent smoke.

Heart Foundation Group CEO Adjunct Professor John Kelly said overall about one in two Australians aged between 18 and 64 were not active enough for good heart health.

To help raise awareness for heart health, The Heart Foundation has launched a Personal Walking Plans program to motivate more people to take up regular exercise.

Participants will receive a walking plan tailored to their current activity levels, as identified during an easy, two-minute sign-up process.

Plans will be delivered via weekly emails and texts, which are designed not only to support and motivate participants, but also to deliver information about the many benefits of walking beyond fitness and heart health.

"This is a vital component of the Personal Walking Plans, because as our survey shows, simply understanding that physical activity is good for the heart does not equate to getting off the couch," Professor Kelly said.

"Over this six-week journey with us, participants will learn about some of the lesser-known benefits of regular walking, like unwinding at the end of a stressful day; exploring their neighbourhood; becoming stronger and more flexible; and improving their mood.

"Walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of not only heart disease, but also stroke, diabetes, dementia and some cancers. It can also help maintain healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.

"That's why we often call walking a 'wonder drug'. If it were a medicine, we would all be taking it daily for longer, healthier, happier lives.

"By highlighting the unique and holistic benefits of walking, we are confident of recruiting an enthusiastic new generation to our Heart Foundation Walking family, while also continuing our mission to save Australian lives from heart disease."

The Heart Foundation's Personal Walking Plans have been developed by the organisation's experts in physical activity and exercise science, with input from consultants at Exercise and Sports Science Australia.

To get started with a free Heart Foundation Personal Walking Plan, click here.

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