Is the Aussie Sports Couch Potato
taking a greater risk than the Athlete they are watching?

Ever wondered why Sports People take such significant risks with their bodies? Well here are a few interesting statistics.

The Global Burden of Disease study completed in Australia in 1999 found that Physical Inactivity rates second only to Tobacco as the most significant risk factor contributing to total disability and burden in Australia. Yes, that was Physical Inactivity not Physical Activity.

In 2000 A Preliminary Study into The Costs of Illness attributable to Physical Inactivity in Australia was released by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care and the Australian Sports Commission. This study produced significant statistics into the costs of Physical Inactivity on Australian lives. This included conservative estimates suggesting that Physical Inactivity is associated with 18% of Coronary Heart Disease, 16 per cent of Stroke, 13 percent of Type II Diabetes, 19 percent of Colon Cancer, 9 percent of Breast Cancer and 10 percent of Depression symptoms.

The study also found that Physical Inactivity contributes to 6400 deaths per annum in Australia from Coronary Heart Disease, Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes and Colon Cancer, and up to 2200 more due to other conditions, including Breast cancer and Stroke. That’s more deaths than by motor vehicle accidents which was 1811 in 2003 (Year Book Australia 2006) and far outweighs the deaths by all physical activities combined which totalled a mere 167 over a three year period between 2000-2003 (An Epidemiological Profile of Catastrophic and Severe Sport & Leisure Injuries in NSW, 2000-2004).