Study: Regional men more likely to drink, smoke and be obese

AUSTRALIAN men who live and work in regional areas experience higher prevalence of being overweight and obese, and are more prone to cardiovascular diseases than those in major cities a study has suggested.

They also lead unhealthier lifestyles and are more likely to drink and smoke, and not meet recommended physical activity guidelines. This has a severe impact on the public health care system.

A study in the latest issue of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, published by Sports Medicine Australia, has found Australian men, over the age of 40 with no post-high school education living and working in regional areas were most at risk of not meeting recommended physical activity guidelines.

Physical activity has been shown to vastly improve the health outcomes of people suffering from obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"Treating chronic diseases in regional areas puts pressure on our health care system. Our findings indicate that regional men above 40 years old were more likely to be inactive then those below 40 years old. Since physical activity is a modifiable behaviour that can reduce risk factors linked to the development of many chronic diseases, we should intervene at this age group to cushion the impact on our health care system," study author Jason Wong said.

Mr Wong said it was important to research this section of the Australian population because, "this group of men can be hard-to-reach."

Topics:  alcohol drink health mackay smoke weight

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