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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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World Health Day: highlighting blood pressure

World Health Day, marking the establishment of the World Health Organisation (WHO) is celebrated on 7 April each year. It was on this day that the WHO was established in 1948. To mark World Health Day, the WHO nominates a priority area of global public health as the theme for World Health Day: this year the theme is controlling high blood pressure. According to WHO, high blood pressure (also called hypertension) affects more than one in three adults worldwide. Complications from high blood pressure—including heart attack and stroke—account for more than 9 million deaths worldwide every year.Blood pressure is the force exerted by blood on the walls of arteries. It is commonly expressed as a r... Read more...

Australians eat poorly, are overweight and unfit: but it’s not all bad news

The Australian Health Survey, a regular survey of Australia's health, shows that most Australian adults have a poor diet, are either overweight or obese and don’t get enough exercise. These unhealthy habits put us at greater risk of a range of adverse health outcomes including the development of serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.The first results, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 29 October 2012, cover health status, health risk factors and long term health conditions. Results to be released later will cover health service use, more detailed information on dietary intake, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, biomedical health measures, and representa... Read more...

Unhealthy habits on the rise

Some of the key risk factors for a number of life threatening diseases have increased in prevalence in Australia over the last decade according to a recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The report, Risk factor trends: age patterns in key health risk factors over time, found that over the period, the proportion of people diagnosed with life threatening conditions including diabetes and chronic kidney disease had increased.Modifiable risk factors directly associated with these life threatening conditions, including being overweight or obese, physically inactive, and having a poor diet, had increased across all age groups, while excessive alcohol consumption had in... Read more...

Sitting comfortably? How sitting is affecting our health

A growing body of evidence is pointing to the health risks associated with sedentary behaviours, and in particular risks associated with prolonged periods of sitting, independent of other physical activities. While we have known for some time that regular physical activity is important to good health and that sedentary lifestyles are detrimental, what the emerging body of evidence is now suggesting is that periods of prolonged sitting can have negative health consequences even where people are meeting recommended exercise guidelines and maintaining a healthy body weight. In other words, undertaking the recommended 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical exercise each day, and keeping wei... Read more...

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