Heart Research Month aims to raise awareness throughout February about the impact of heart disease in Australia and the need for ongoing research.
ActiveXchange, in partnership with KPMG and DataHub, recently released a social value report demonstrating the financial impact on community savings through Belgravia Leisure’s ‘true partnership’ approach in connecting community to leisure.
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.
Cardiovascular 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.
“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.”
Several Belgravia Leisure facilities also have Exercise Physiologists on site who run seniors-accessible classes for people over 60 – a demographic that is most vulnerable to heart disease.
Belgravia Leisure CEO Nick Cox says the company has played an integral role in facilitating the health and wellbeing of local communities across Australia for 30 years. “We are committed to improving fitness and lifestyles of local communities and we see our centres as an essential part of this commitment,” he said.
The social value report found that Belgravia Leisure’s accessible facilities resulted in community savings of over $15 million dollars in the last calendar year.
Case Study: Belgravia’s exercise physiology programs support cardiac surgery recovery
The time following cardiac surgery can be challenging for patients and their families. Exercise Physiologist Jacob Miller said exercise physiology programs run at fitness centres fill an important gap in a patient’s rehabilitation. “Often people will have access to a general cardiac rehabilitation program for 6-8 weeks following surgery – but this is where treatment stops. Without continued guidance and supervision, this population is at risk of being lost and confused in taking the next step to improve their fitness, reduce their risk and be an active member of the community.”
“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.”