VicHealth supports evidence-informed policy that increases participation in physical activity, sport, active recreation and active transport.


Regular physical activity can provide significant gains in health and wellbeing by preventing chronic disease including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. It can improve mental wellbeing, build social connection, increase productivity and create positive change in the places where we live, learn, work and play (Chau 2007, Department of Sport & Recreation 2008, Dunstan et al. 2010, Owen et al. 2010, VicHealth 2010a; 2010b).

Two girls playing soccerCurrently, only two in five Australian adults and one in five children are getting enough physical activity to benefit their health (ABS 2013). A comprehensive and multi-level approach will contribute to VicHealth’s goal of encouraging more Victorians to engage in physical activity. To achieve these objectives, ongoing action is needed across the following areas: 

  • Create and implement coordinated public policies at the federal, state and local government level that encourage increased physical activity for all Victorians. 
  • Increase opportunities for, and decrease barriers to, active transport for children and adults, with a particular focus on encouraging children to walk or ride to and from school. 
  • Reduce sedentary behaviour and increase incidental activity in the places where we live, learn and work.
  • Address barriers to participation in sport and active recreation by creating equal opportunities to participate for all Victorians with a focus on those who are inactive or somewhat active.
  • Increase engagement with the arts as a sustainable vehicle to encourage physical activity.

VicHealth partners with sport, government, active travel and recreation agencies, the arts, workplaces and academia to create opportunities for Victorians to make physical activity a part of their daily lives. 
 

References 
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2013, Australian health survey: physical activity 2011–12, cat. no. 4364.0.55.004, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra. 
Chau J 2007, Physical activity and building stronger communities, NSW Centre for Physical Activity and Health, Sydney.
Department of Sport & Recreation 2008, Benefits of physical activity, Government of Western Australia, Perth.
Dunstan D, Barr E, Healy G, Salmon J, Shaw J, Balkau B, Magliano D, Cameron A, Zimmet P & Owen N 2010, ‘Television viewing time and mortality’, Circulation, vol. 121, no. 3, pp. 384–391.
Owen N, Healy GN, Matthews CE & Dunstan DW 2010, ‘Too much sitting: the population health science of sedentary behaviour,’ Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, vol. 38, no. 3, p. 105.
VicHealth 2010a, Community attitudes survey: healthy community sporting environments, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne.
VicHealth 2010b, Participation in physical activity: research summary, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne.