More than half of all Victorians
are doing no exercise at all or are inactive enough to be at increased risk of
Insufficient physical activity is
a major risk factor for a range of cancers, but 55% of Victorians report that
they don't do enough physical activity.
That's more than 2.3 million people
falling below recommended guidelines for one hour of moderate exercise or 30
minutes of vigorous activity per day.
Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd
Harper said living an active life was a vital tool in the fight against cancer.
"You don't have to be an Olympic
athlete to stay fit and improve your health. Just forming a habit of getting
off the couch and going for a walk, or taking the stairs instead of the lift can
have a significant impact on your risk of receiving a cancer diagnosis"," Mr
Every year, more than 31,600
Victorians will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly 11,000 will die from the
Physical activity is an important
preventative factor in 13 different cancers, including two of the most common
cancers - breast cancer and bowel cancer - and can help people living with a
diagnosis during their treatment and recovery.
"A growing number of studies have
shown that being physically active lowers the risk of recurrence and improves
the chances of survival compared to those who don't exercise. Moving your body
is so important," Mr Harper said.
The news comes as Cancer Council
celebrates Australia's Biggest Morning Tea today, which raises funds for
support services, such as the Healthy Living After Cancer program.
Delivered by nurses on Cancer
Council Victoria's information and support line 13 11 20, the program offers
free health coaching over the phone, with experienced cancer nurses. The
program can help participants get active, eat healthy and feel better.
Mr Harper said Australia's
Biggest Morning Tea relied on the generosity of Victorians to fund life-saving
research, prevention and support services.
"It's so important that we provide
support not only for individuals, but also their carers, friends and
colleagues. By hosting a morning tea Victorians can play a crucial role in funding
programs that will make life easier for people living with cancer."
Today, Thursday 25 May is the
official date of Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, but Victorians can host an
event any time during May or June by registering at
www.biggestmorningtea.com.au or calling 1300 65 65 85.
Mr Harper encouraged hosts to
plan healthy menus, and said eating plenty of vegetables and fruit is likely to
reduce the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach and bowel. He
also said the events were a great way to give back to the community.
"With 1 in 3
Victorians developing cancer by the age of 75, it's so important that we're
there for them, and their families and friends, so I encourage everyone to host
an Australia's Biggest Morning Tea to help us provide that support," he said.