More People More Active More Often
The benefits of active living can be achieved without hard exercise. We know this. Our job has been to convince every New Zealander of it. By just raising your pulse or working up a sweat on most days of the week you would improve your quality of life. Most people get this from their chosen sport or gym habit, or through regular walking, swimming, cycling or gardening.
Having Pushed Play for two years, our aim has been to spread the 30-minutes-a-day message further.
Push Play has a serious purpose - to reduce the number of preventable deaths caused by inactivity. Couch-potato illnesses are related to the deaths of over 2,000 people every year - four times the road toll. These deaths would not happen if the people were more active.
Imagine if relatives erected a white cross next to your couch.
Action And Results In 2000-2001
Push Play's target audience has been extended. The kit Let's Get Moving produced with the Heart Foundation is introducing activity ideas into workplaces. With the YMCA we've challenged young people to get their whanau or family members active.
To take the message even further a national Push Play Day has been organised for 9 November 2001. It will bring together events run by local authorities, regional sports trusts and all manner of activity groups. It also coincides with the first national Walk to School Day, which is run in conjunction with the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA). We promote walking to school following alarming statistics that over 50% of New Zealand kids are driven to school, one in seven are obese, and 30% are inactive.
Throughout the year regional sports trusts across New Zealand have run hundreds of Push Play promotional events, offering activity opportunities to 265,000 people. The successful 'pig-man' television campaign is pushing the activity message out further - watch for the window cleaner.
Many partners have helped promote Push Play - the Ministry of Health, Local Government NZ, Agencies for Nutrition Action, YMCA, National Heart Foundation of NZ, and sponsor United Networks Ltd (in their final year of support). Push Play Day is being run, as well as with the above, in association with national bodies for diabetes, arthritis, asthma and cancer, the NZ Recreation Assn and Fitness NZ.
In order to know how active we are the Commission published 10 sets of statistical Push Play Facts - by sport. Using this information, Netball NZ can for instance better target its service to offer the game as the way to Push Play. Sports profiled are basketball, cricket, hockey, golf, league, netball, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, tennis and touch.
To standardise the way professionals give advice about being active, we publish a set of physical activity guidelines. Called Movement=Health, they establish four simple guides on how to impart sensible tips on getting fit
Green Prescriptions/Te Rongoaa Kakariki
A dose of physical activity - the best medicine
That revolutionary Kiwi invention - the Green Prescription! It is written advice from a general practitioner or practice nurse for a patient to be more active. The prescription suggests the type of activity, and for how long and how often it is to be taken. Patients can get information on opportunities to be active (where is the nearest gym, sports club or activity group) from their regional sports trust.
Green Prescriptions makes Push Play part of the treatment for many people with arthritis, asthma, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and osteoporosis.
Action And Results In 2000-2001
Used by half of all New Zealand GPs, Green Prescription has drawn international praise as a model to help combat the growing problems of inactive lifestyles and overindulging. Nine Green Prescriptions Area Managers are employed to implement Green Prescriptions.
Over half of all patients on a Green Prescription enjoy long-term benefits. In recent research 56% said they had been issued a Green Prescription to lose weight, 29% for high blood pressure or to reduce risk of stroke, 23% for diabetes, and 23% for high cholesterol. About 17% were for anxiety or stress and 14% for back problems.
Green Prescriptions Work
The health improvements that patients report from the new-found activity are wide ranging and clear evidence of the success of Green Prescriptions. Most feel better (65%) or fitter/stronger (37%), have lost weight (47%) or gained more energy (40%), are more mobile (33%) or more relaxed/calm (26%). About a quarter breathe easier, a fifth feel less pain and 9% delight at having to take less medication.
Over half say they have been more active since receiving their GRx than before, and 55% are active on 3-6 days a week.
Walking is by far the most common activity prescribed in Green Prescriptions (84%), with swimming at 28% and other water-based activities at 16%. Home-based exercise is recommended 27% of the time, with going to the gym 15%. Some patients are prescribed more than one activity.
Three-quarters of GRx patients are still active 6 months after receiving their prescription. Over half (54%) report still following their prescribed advice, with another 21% doing a different activity. 16% say they have temporarily stopped their GRx activity for varying reasons.
Most GRx patients are women (71%) and about a quarter visited their doctor or pratice nurse just once.
Our research shows us that most inactive people want to be more active, and that Push Play is making it easy.
This information is from a survey of 209 patients in May 2001.
He Oranga Poutama /Active Maori Lifestyles
Greater Maori Participation
The Commission's strategy for sport and active living for Maori is realised through the programme He Oranga Poutama. It takes the concept of participating for life (Omangia te Oma Roa - Run the Long Journey) to encourage sport and active lifestyles for Maori in a Maori setting. Maori have always enjoyed gathering together in a whanau environment, and traditionally this takes place at the marae. He Oranga Poutama addresses holistic wellbeing concerns of Maori in rural/urban, marae, whanau, hapu and iwi settings.
Action And Results In 2000-2001
We've expanded the network of Kaiwhakahaere (co-ordinators) promoting the active-living message. Now 16 co-ordinators cover the country from Tai Tokerau to Te Arawa, Tai Rawhiti to Te Tai Hauauru, and create opportunities for Maori sport and physical activity. He Oranga Poutama activities involve mokopuna to kaumatua and occurred on half of all marae.
Under He Oranga Poutama, the following grants to Maori are available:
John Tapiata Scholarship
$5,000 per year for 4 years for a Maori student undertaking the Bachelor of Physical Education Studies at Otago University
Princess Te Puea Scholarship
$5,000 per year for 3 years for a Maori student undertaking the Bachelor of Leisure Studies at Waikato University
Tomua / Tomuri grants encourage rangatahi (youth, as the tomuri) to participate in their chosen sport with the guidance of their chosen tomua (role model). The grants are $500 and the programme operates over a 6-month period. The tomuri is encouraged to set goals, record his or her training and spending, and evaluate the success.
To encourage marae-based events that include an active-leisure component, this grant assists with administration costs (up to $1,000) involved in organising the event.
Grants of up to $1000 promote Maori leadership roles in the sport and recreation industry by supporting training in administration. Priority is given to applicants undertaking courses of up to 12 months.
Community Sport Fund/He Putea Haakinakina mo te waahi huihuinga
Funding for Every Community
The Commission's main support for sport and physical activity at a local level is through the Community Sport Fund, administered by district and city councils. While councils also spend over $300 million a year providing sport and leisure facilities and services, this fund makes grants direct to clubs and organisations. Independent assessment committees allocate the funds for activity projects aimed at young people, for coach and volunteer training, and for other opportunities that build stronger communities through Push Play.
Action And Results In 2000-2001
Over 5,100 projects or events were supported throughout New Zealand this year, organised by over 3,100 clubs and organisations. The Community Sport Fund distributed $5.5 million to communities (of which 85% came from the Hillary Commission). The average allocation per club rose nearly 30% to $1794.
New this year is assistance for club development. Clubs are funded to address issues of sustainability. A minimum fund of $21,000 is guaranteed to small district councils (such as Buller or Opotiki) so that their rural clubs are not disadvantaged. Nineteen other councils with low-density demographics also benefited from a new rural travel fund.
The Hillary Commission also helps local authorities plan and deliver their recreational services. This includes strategic planning development, advice on policy and advocacy, and resources and expert opinion on the design and management of sport and active-living facilities and services.
For more Information
Click on Community Sport Fund
KiwiWalks/Nga Hikoi Kiwi
One-hour Walks Everywhere
Over 350 KiwiWalks now exist, enabling busy people to enjoy New Zealand's great outdoors. KiwiWalks take no more than an hour and don't require special shoes. This makes them ideal for Push Play - which calls for 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. We've also introduced a grading system, indicating what level of mobility is required for each KiwiWalk.
We're piloting a programme aimed at encouraging more Pacific Islanders being more active more often. Called Vasa Pasifika, it is being trailed in Sport Waitakere.