The Stroke Foundation is urging Australians, including those in Melbourne’s north, to get physical and spend less time sitting down to significantly reduce their risk of suffering a stroke.
Researchers from South Australia and San Diego State University have found that even slightly increasing physical activity can have a huge impact on a person’s health.
The study found that people who spend over 13 hours a day sedentary or sitting down exhibited a 44 percent increase in risk of stroke, compared to those who are more active.
It also showed that only 25 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity significantly decreased the stroke risk, in some instances by 43 percent, while light physical activity was also associated with reducing the risk of stroke.
The Stroke Foundation’s South Australian state manager, Luke Hays, says that all Australians, regardless of age, should prioritise physical activity.
“Being active daily, whether it’s walking the dog or going for a swim, goes a long way in reducing the likelihood of having a stroke, because it reduces those key risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes,” Luke says.
The Stroke Foundation’s ‘No Postcode Untouched’ report maps stroke incidence, prevalence and risk factors, and showed that more than three million Australians were physically inactive in 2020 – 15 percent of the total population of Aussies aged 15 years and over.
This is a statistic that Luke Hays says needs to improve.
“That’s still a large portion of the population that is physically inactive, so Stroke Foundation encourages Australians to get physical and limit the amount of time they’re spending sitting down,” Luke says.
“We know that the incidence of stroke in working-aged adults is rising, largely due to a more sedentary lifestyle, so any steps we can take to change that should be taken.”
Being inactive can also increase your risk of type two diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week to help prevent your risk of stroke and improve your overall health.
For more information, visit www.strokefoundation.org.au.