New local findings from the 2019 Active Living Census (ALC) show that half of all Macedon Ranges Shire residents (53 per cent) want to be more active. The most popular way to exercise is walking (21 per cent), followed by swimming (9 per cent), bushwalking/hiking (7 per cent), indoor fitness/gym (7 per cent) and active play (6 per cent).
The Active Living Census is part of the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative which was funded to address concerning health statistics within the Loddon Campaspe region.
The findings come from a report released by the Healthy Heart of Victoria initiative for Macedon Ranges Shire. The results from the 3,691 residents who participated in the survey provide important information about health and wellbeing in Macedon Ranges Shire. This follows the release of the results for the Loddon Campaspe region earlier this year.
Cr Janet Pearce 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.
“We know that many people want to be more active. Now we have a better understanding of what types of facilities and programs will help to get more people, more active, more often,” Cr Pearce said.
The Active Living Census found that almost two thirds of Macedon Ranges Shire residents (61 per cent) are overweight or obese and that overweight and obesity is higher among males (67 per cent) than females (55 per cent). The report also shows that only 14 per cent of adults in Macedon Ranges Shire meet guidelines for vegetable consumption, 51 per cent meet guidelines for fruit consumption, and 62 per cent met guidelines for physical activity.
Council’s Acting Director Transition, Sarah Noel said Healthy Heart of Victoria was already working to address some of the concerning health statistics within Macedon Ranges Shire.
“We are doing this via projects such as WalKyneton, which is working with community members to design how to make the Campaspe River Trail and outdoor exercise equipment more safe, inclusive, accessible and active.”
Macedon Ranges Shire Council has also received $240,000 in additional funding from the Healthy Heart of Victoria Initiative to deliver the Free Inclusive Training (FIT) Project later this year. The project will allow community members of all to try outdoor exercise equipment that will soon be installed in Gisborne, Romsey and Woodend, including through face-to-face and online support. The project will deliver infrastructure that makes outdoor exercise stations safer and more accessible, such as water stations, lighting, signage, and connections to nearby paths and car parks.
“We would like to thank everyone who took part in the Active Living Census,” Cr Pearce said.
“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 within Macedon Ranges Shire and across the Loddon Campaspe region to advocate for the health and wellbeing needs of our communities.
“The data will also help our community to obtain funding to create better health outcomes and help drive ongoing positive change across the region.”
To view the Active Living Census report for Macedon Ranges Shire, visit Healthy Heart
Additionally, the Selected Finding report for the Loddon Campaspe region is available on the Regional Development Victoria website