NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant is encouraging people to walk to work this Friday, or any day, as part of National Walk to Work Day.
"Walk to Work Day is a great way to kick-start a healthy habit of regular physical activity.
"We all lead increasingly busy lives, but it’s important that we make time for our health,” Dr Chant said.
“Walking is a simple activity with excellent health benefits – walking for recreation or as part of a trip to work can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat and boost muscle power and endurance.
"Some simple tips to get moving are to walk to work rather than drive, get off public transport a few stops early, walk your children to school, or go for a walk during lunch," Dr Chant said.
Results from the 2010 Adult Health Report shows that 54.3 % of adults in NSW are overweight or obese – up from 41.8 % in 1997.
"Physical activity and eating fruit and vegetables can help prevent obesity, which is linked to an increasing number of diseases including heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes,” Dr Chant said.
The NSW Government delivers the free Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service on 1300 806 258. Get Healthy is a service for adults to receive personalised healthy lifestyle telephone coaching for six months to meet their healthy eating, physical activity and weight loss goals. Health Coaches provide individually tailored support to set and achieve goals, learn new healthy habits and maintain motivation to achieve long term lifestyle changes.
National Walk to Work Day is an initiative of the Pedestrian Council of Australia and Cancer Council and is supported by NSW Health. It is held annually to remind all Australians that regular physical activity such as walking is a great way to not only avoid obesity but also a range of illnesses including high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis and cancer.