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Activity essential for at-risk groups


Activity essential for at-risk groups

Physiotherapists want the Healthy Eating Healthy Action strategy to widen its focus, to include activity for at-risk groups with chronic conditions. This follows release of the New Zealand Health Survey report which shows two out of three adults have chronic health conditions, and there is an increase in sedentary behaviour.

People with conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart and breathing difficulties often do not receive the specialised help they need to become more active, which research proves can immensely improve their health and quality of life, stated Jonathan Warren, President of the New Zealand Society of Physiotherapists.

“Physios are frustrated that there is so much we could do for these at-risk patients if even just a small part of that Healthy Eating Healthy Action money could be directed towards creating individualised programmes for them,” Mr Warren said. “ Many people with chronic conditions don’t know how to start becoming active. They’re frightened of hurting themselves or making their condition worse. They need individual assessment which takes into account all their health needs and their own goals and preferences. Then they need to be introduced gradually to an individual activity programme, and given lots of encouragement.”

Mr Warren said that physiotherapists are pleased to see the successful promotion of healthy eating, but they hope that the strategy can now focus more on achieving more physical activity for all New Zealanders – in particular, for those who need personalised help.


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