Tomorrow: World Health Day To Help Health, Poverty And Insecurity

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Otautahi – Tomorrow is world health day
which is more significant for New Zealanders than ever
before as the global covid pandemic pushed more people into
poverty, food insecurity and amplified social and health
inequities.

This World Health Day should celebrate the
work of nurses and health workers who are at the forefront
of the covid response providing high quality. Without
nurses, there would be no response.

To highlight world
health day, ExerciseNZ wants to
see greater efforts to address the serious fact of New
Zealand having some of the least physically active children
in the world, resulting in high levels of obesity and other
health conditions.

The government is offering kids
school lunches but ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie
says not enough is being done to support and foster their
activity levels.

“Nutrition (lunches) are part of
the solution, so that is positive. About 640 low-decile
schools will join 182 existing schools getting free school
lunches this year under a $220 million government scheme,”
he says.

“But we need a multi-disciplinary and
community-led approach. We know 93 percent of New Zealand
kids don’t do enough physical activity, according to the
World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Physical activity
is more than just a performance. Research shows it leads to
better education outcomes and more mentally robust
individuals which is so important in a covid world. We need
to be a much more active nation.

“The British Health
Medical Journal says mental health should be a public health
priority and a focus on mental health in childhood as well
as the whole of the lifespan of a child.

“It is
thought that half of adult mental health problems start
before the age of 14, so early interventions may reduce
long-term damage.

“With greater physical activity,
comes better mental health and long-term health outcomes.
This is especially important given the financial health
issue pressures on the government. Anything that can reduce
unnecessary health costs from the Ministry of Health is a
win.

“I would like to meet the Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern and the Minister of Health Andrew Little and
present our suggestions and recommendations on exercise and
mental health which, if applied, will show massive benefit
for Kiwi children.

“I constantly work with the WHO
on physical activity and I know New Zealand is really
lagging. If we increase our kids’ physical activity there
is a unique opportunity to get this right and the exercise
industry is stepping up to offer to help.

“We have
passionate and qualified exercise professionals and
facilities with the capacity and desire to help improve the
wellness of all Kiwis. We already help half a million New
Zealanders but we would love to help the other 4.5 million
people.”

New Zealand is the 13th worst in the world
when it comes to inactivity which is leading to a whole
range of poor outcomes, such as being the second highest in
the world in child obesity.

Beddie is recognised in
the fitness industry as a global expert in exercise and
physical activity.

He has a background in governance
of global bodies including being chairman of the
International Confederation of Register for Exercise
Professionals for four years and nine years with Skills
Active Aotearoa, New Zealand’s standard setter for
education and training in sport fitness and
recreation.

He set up the world’s first
collaborative network for registered exercise professionals
globally and has worked with other countries to facilitate
portability for New Zealand-trained exercise professionals
to travel and work
overseas.

© Scoop Media

 



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