The importance of physical activity a universal truth

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Professor Stephen Hawking takes on issues close to home - the need to tackle obesity.

It may not be rocket science but it’s a topic that has exercised one of the planet’s greatest minds.

Professor Stephen Hawking has done more than most to unlock the secrets of our universe, and of those beyond. But in a powerful video he focuses on an important issue much closer to home; the importance of physical activity.

Overweight and obesity - and the diseases that often accompany them, including cardiovascular disease – are among the most pressing public health issues, as pointed out by Professor Hawking. Increasingly, sedentary lifestyles, inadequate physical activity, coupled with overeating, and eating unhealthily make for a potentially devastating combination and with flow-on effects for the broader community. Sadly the evidence all points to a worsening situation and the need for a wake-up call.

National overweight and obesity rates are increasing – especially so in rural Australia and areas with greater concentrations of social disadvantage.  The Heart Foundation’s Blueprint for an Active Australia, and its Move More, Sit Less campaign, aligns perfectly with these sentiments. It maps a pathway to a much improved state of individual and collective wellbeing in Australia, by encouraging physical activity across the lifespan.

That one of the planet’s leading scientific minds, more used to contemplating the mysteries of astrophysics, should feel compelled to speak of the urgency of this issue, highlights the need for a comprehensive and decisive approach to addressing it.

And unlike much of astrophysics, the way to improved heart health is not all that complicated.