A recent social value report has found that Belgravia Leisure’s accessible facilities have reduced the financial burden of heart disease on communities by over $15 million in the last calendar year.
According to the Australian Department of Health, heart disease is the leading cause of death and disease burden in Australia. The Heart Foundation reports that each day, on average, 20 Australians die from a heart attack.
Along with managing blood cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight are essential to maintaining a healthy heart.
Exercise and cardiovascular disease
The Heart Foundation recommends being active every day of the week, with a goal of at least 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity every week. Group exercise is also recommended to motivate and encourage regular activity.
“People find it difficult to exercise even without additional barriers such as affordability, accessibility, location and time constraints,” said Troy Walker, National Health and Wellbeing Manager at Belgravia Leisure. “Improved accessibility means we are making it easier for members of the public to engage in these activities.”
Seniors are more vulnerable to heart conditions; several Belgravia Leisure facilities have Exercise Physiologists on site who run seniors accessible classes such as Movement 4 Improvement, a group based program for members who are 60 and above to complete their exercise programs.
“We have three Exercise Physiologists at our centre who predominantly see patients on a one to one basis. They deal with people who suffer from a wide range of conditions, injuries and more, including cardiac rehabilitation,” said Geraldine Ruffle, Health Club Manager at the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre in Sydney.
“With cardiac clients, our Exercise Physiologists must perform careful monitoring. It’s about returning a client to a healthy heart state through exercise as well as teaching them how to monitor and improve themselves every day.”
What is social value and why should we measure it?
Social value attributes a dollar amount towards savings generated in the community from the prevention of chronic or acute conditions such as diabetes, bowel cancer or breast cancer. The social value report demonstrates how the investment made in human services is making a direct impact on the lives of vulnerable Australians by providing venues to promote healthy living. The social return on investment in community services directly relates to the savings to the government.