The Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative has released the Loddon Campaspe region findings from the 2019 Active Living Census (ALC) and the almost 25,000 responses it received from throughout the region.
The results from the Census provide important information about people’s health and wellbeing including participation in organised sport and informal physical activity, consumption of fruit, vegetables, water, alcohol and sugary drinks, smoking and gambling, overweight and obesity, and life satisfaction. The results also provide information about barriers to healthy eating and active lifestyles, and data on what would help support communities to be more active, more often.
Key findings across the Loddon Campaspe Region
- Two in every three adults in the Loddon Campaspe Region are overweight or obese (62.5%). This is higher than the Victorian average of 49.7%.
- One in 10 households (9.2%) in the Loddon Campaspe Region are food insecure – they do not have enough to eat. In some areas, this increases to one in 7 households. This is higher than the Victorian average of 6.2%.
- 14% of adults are daily consumers of sugary drinks. This is higher than the Victorian average of 11.2%.
- One in every two adults (48%) meet the daily fruit consumption guidelines. This is better than the Victorian average of 42.9%.
- One in every eight adults meet the daily vegetable consumption guidelines (13.3%) as compared to the Victorian average of 4.9%.
- 10.6% of adults are current smokers with higher rates among males than females. This is a reduction in smoking rates for the region.
- 57.5% of residents (including children 3+) meet the physical activity guidelines. People in the Loddon Campaspe region want to be more active more often, with 53.4% wanting to do more activity.
- Walking is the most popular type of physical activity, followed by swimming, fitness, active play and cycling.
- Gurri Wanyarra Aquatic and Wellbeing Centre was the most popular recreation facility across the entire Loddon Campaspe Region, followed by Lake Weeroona. Gurri Wanyarra was also rated as the best quality facility across the region.
- Food insecurity and household self-rated prosperity appear to be key predictors for a cluster of health behaviours and outcomes, with food insecure and low income households reporting lower levels of health and wellbeing overall, higher rates of overweight and obesity, higher rates of health-risk behaviours (i.e. smoking, alcohol, sugary drinks) and lower rates of health-protecting behaviours (i.e. physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption).
The findings for the region are broken down across each of the six participating local government areas, as well as by the 10 activities with the highest rate of yearly participation, and into specific population groups.
The Active Living Census is part of the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative which was funded to address concerning health statistics. Infrastructure and activation projects to get more people, more active, more often, as well as policy work to help make health everyone’s business, are already underway.
Healthy Greater Bendigo Executive Officer and Project Manager of the Active Living Census, Amy Brown said the findings from the census are an important tool to help ensure that investments, infrastructure, programs and services are what we need, where we need them.
“No other region in Australia has this type of data at this level of detail. The data will support government and community agencies, schools, sporting clubs, community groups and residents across the region to advocate for the health and wellbeing needs of our communities. The data will also assist organisations and the community to obtain funding to create better health outcomes and help drive ongoing positive change across the region,” Ms Brown said.
Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership Chair, Dave Richardson, said the Healthy Heart of Victoria is already working to address some of the concerning health statistics within the Loddon Campaspe region.
“We are doing this via projects such as WalKyneton in Macedon Ranges Shire, Activating Crossenvale Park in Campaspe Shire, Let’s Walk Kangaroo Flat and Long Gully in City of Greater Bendigo, Maryborough Community House kitchen garden upgrades in Central Goldfields Shire, outdoor fitness equipment in Wedderburn and Boort in Loddon Shire, and the Forest Street pedestrian crossing in Mount Alexander Shire,” Mr Richardson said.
The Active Living Census Selected Findings report for the Loddon Campaspe region will be available on the Regional Development Victoria website. Selected Findings reports for the six local government areas involved are currently in development and will be available on their websites in the coming weeks.
ABOUT THE HEALTHY HEART OF VICTORIA INITIATIVE
Healthy Heart of Victoria (HHV) is a State Government funded initiative aimed at improving the health of people in the Loddon Campaspe region – the ‘heart’ of Victoria.
Healthy Heart of Victoria projects are designed to focus on those parts of the community that are the least active and least supported to get more people, more active, more often.
The six Loddon Campaspe Local Government Areas are involved – Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire.
There are three main components to the initiative:
The Active Living Census (ALC)
An evaluation and measurement tool to enable evidence-based planning for the provision of health and recreation services and allow deep understanding of people’s activity levels and preferences
Infrastructure and activation that gets more people, more active, more often
Healthy Heart of Victoria is funding improvements and support for infrastructure, facilities and/or programs across the region to enable more community members to increase their activity levels. This part of the initiative will focus on areas where residents are less active.
- Upgrades to Crossenvale Park in Echuca in the Campaspe Shire, including nature playground, fitness programs and a water fountain
- Path upgrades and the introduction of a parkrun at Maryborough’s Goldfields Reservoir in Central Goldfields Shire
- Path, seating and lighting upgrades, along with the installation of outdoor fitness equipment in Kangaroo Flat and Long Gully in City of Greater Bendigo
- Installation of outdoor fitness equipment in Wedderburn and Boort in Loddon Shire
- WalKyneton – improvements to pathways and facilities along the Campaspe River Walk in Kyneton in Macedon Ranges Shire
- Path and crossing upgrades in Castlemaine in Mount Alexander Shire Council
Health Broker workforce
A workforce of Health Brokers has been appointed to work across the six Loddon Campaspe Councils.
The Health Broker’s role is to develop relationships between Council, local organisations and community groups to help build knowledge and influence decision making with respect to health and wellbeing.