Bicycle Network: Prevention
Preventing obesity through Physical Activity
Adequate physical activity prevents and assists with the treatment of obesity.
Driving is making Australians fat
Recent Australian research has found a direct correlation between commuting by car and weight gain, highlighting the imporance active travel plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing obesity.
Building on research that suggested each additional hour per day spent in the car was associated with a six percent increase in the likelihood of obesity, Takemi Sugiyama of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute conducted a study that exaimed the reasons behind this.
Mr Sugiyama's research confirmed that over a four year period those who actively commuted tended to gain less weight than those who used cars daily. He has also found that long-term weight management can be possible through active transport and physical activity during leisure time.
“Our study has shown that not using cars for commuting may be protective against weight gain. This highlights the need for promoting active commuting through public health, urban planning, and transportation initiatives,” said Mr Sugiyama.
His research reported that a quarter of car trips were less than five minutes, highlighting the need for increased campaigning efforts and the importance of health promotion programs like Bicycle Network's Ride2Work and Ride2School.
Longer car travel times were reported in outer suburban areas, highlighting the importance for initiatives such as transit-oriented development, park and ride (bus, train), and park and cycle (Parkiteer).
Bicycle Network is commited to improving active transport levels within the community by getting More People Cycling More Often. Key initiatives include:
- Ongoing campaigning for improved riding facilities
- Building the capacity of local government to improve riding facilities through our Bike Futures program
- Behaviour change programs - Ride2School (featuring 'Part Way is Ok') and Ride2Work
- Bike parking solutions
Physical Activity Guidelines
The recommended physical activity guidelines are:
- Adults - at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity per day
- Children (5 - 18 years) - at least 60 minutes of moderate to intesnse physical activity per day
These time periods can be achieved by one long ride per day, or multiple rides throughout the day. For more information visit the Australian Government's Physical Activity Guidelines.