The Government is hoping a bold new plan to increase the activity levels of all South Australians could potentially save the public health system up to $804 million a year.
Game On: Getting South Australia Moving outlines a framework for improving rates of daily physical activity and exercise to improve the well-being of communities.
Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Corey Wingard said although the project started long before COVID-19 hit, the implementation of the recommendations is now more important than ever.
“There are significant benefits that come from creating more opportunities for South Australians to be more active, more often,” Mr Wingard said.
“At least 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults can lead to improved physical and mental health, stronger community connection and greater self-confidence; and this has a positive flow on effect on the economy through productivity gains, reduced health expenditure and tourism.
“Insufficient physical activity has the potential to cost our public health system an additional $86,366 per person over an individual’s lifetime.
He said currently only 58% of South Australians achieve the recommended 150 minutes of activity per week, with the goal to increase this to 62% within the next five years and 66% in the next decade.
“The report includes a series of recommendations but we’ve already taken steps to get South Aussies moving including investing more than $70 million in creating a second national park for metro Adelaide, opening up our reservoirs for recreational activity and launching our once-in-a-generation Parks 2025 strategy to revitalise infrastructure in national parks across the State.
“This is in response to survey results that showed 86% of respondents said they participated in either walking, cycling or running.
“The Planning and Development fund has seen more than $60 million invested across South Australia to create more open and green spaces for families and we’ve also installed lights at ovals and along footpaths to make it safer for people to exercise and stay active even when it’s dark.”
To develop Game On, an expert panel was formed comprising of seven SA leaders in their fields, bringing with them a diverse range of expertise.
Former Australian Senator, Amanda Vanstone chaired the group which also included former Adelaide Football Club captain and FiveAA announcer, Mark Bickley; Campbelltown City Council CEO, Paul Di Iulio; Professor of Health Sciences, Timothy Olds; former elite athlete and a member of multiple state and national boards, Leeanne Grantham; founder and managing director at Convergen and Jumpgate VR, Anton Andreacchio; and chief executive of the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Kylie Taylor.
Ms Vanstone said the consultation process was extensive and far-reaching.
“The consultation involved more than 800 South Australians, 229 community groups and clubs, 60 state and recreation organisations, 54 local government areas and 11 State Government departments,” Ms Vanstone said.
“Through coordinated collaboration across government and all stakeholder groups, Game On will achieve systematic change, shifting the dial on inactivity by encouraging inactive people to get moving and active people to increase what they do in their everyday lives.”
To view the full Game On document, visit https://www.orsr.sa.gov.au/about_us/game_on