Heart Foundation offers funding, updated blueprint, to get Australians active

The Heart Foundation is offering $80,000 in grants and has revised its blueprint for policymakers and planners as part of its efforts to get Australians to move more and lessen their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

The eight grants of up to $10,000 each – applications for which close 31 July – are aimed at local councils, schools, community groups and culturally and linguistic diverse communities to devise new projects, partnerships or processes which make it easier for people to exercise.

The 2018 winners included a South Australian aged care facility, a bicycle program in the NSW Hunter Valley, and the regional Victoria expansion of the No Lights No Lycra dance sessions.

The foundations says heart disease is Australia’s leading cause of death, with physical inactivity a major contributor alongside lifestyle, diet and family history.

It says six in 10 adults, three in four seniors, and eight in 10 children and young people are not doing enough daily exercise, ranking Australia among the world’s most inactive nations.

Another way the foundation is promoting better heart health is with the third edition of its Blueprint for An Active Australia.

The blueprint includes a range of downloadable fact sheets for policymakers such as built environments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

One example is investing in walking as the most prevalent and popular physical activity that’s available to most Australians, the blueprint says.

“At its heart the Blueprint calls for the Australian Government to fund the development and implementation of a cross-sector National Physical Activity Action Plan,” says the foundation’s Director, Active Living, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton.