Could Geelong Be Australia's Most Active City?
Blue sky social change programs often start with one simple step, and in this case, it's a step outside, a step on to a bike, a step into a class or just taking the stairs.
Active Geelong is a new initiative that will officially launch later this year with one big blue sky aim, to make Geelong the most active city in Australia by 2020. To get there, they need to get 15,000 local residents moving more.
The why on this one is a no-brainer. Regular activity is good for us, helping to prevent or to better manage cardio vascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression and anxiety, hypertension, obesity and certain cancers, including colon and breast cancers. Roughly 10 per cent of premature deaths are attributable to inactivity, with an estimated impact on the national health budget of $1.5 billion each year.
The project will work with workplaces, local GPs and health professionals, and us, the broader community, and work in making it easier to access physical activities, to support the programs that are working well and to come up with some news ones.
The Active Geelong project has the backing of the Global Obesity Centre (GLOBE) and Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University and the list of who's involved includes GMHBA, Deakin University, Barwon Health, City of Greater Geelong, Western Health Primary Health Network, Geelong Cats, Committee for Geelong, Geelong Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine, TAC, WorkSafe, Geelong Connected Communities, Geelong Community Foundation, Fluid, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Mast, and West Carr & Harvey.
How can you help?
With just a bit of information. A Committee for Geelong Leaders for Geelong project team is researching how workplaces are encouraging employees to stay active and trying to identify some of the barriers to getting active at work. The team has devised a quick survey - that should take less than 5 minutes of your time, and yes, we tried it and had it done in 3 minutes - asking questions around if your workplace supports being active at work and how, or what might be stopping you getting active during work hours.
Jump online and take the Active at Work Survey here.
The survey assures us that all answers are de-identified and you get all the joys of participating in getting Geelong more active. And if you're going for a walking meeting after this, top up your office style with a coat and add a beanie and gloves if you have them - active is better when you're not miserably cold!