‘43% of Australian women said their physical health had declined since the pandemic began with only 35% rating their health as currently “very good.”‘ These stats were taken from the recent 2022 Jean Hailes National Women’s Health Survey and point out some alarming facts about the current physical and mental health state of Australian women. 

“43% of Australian women said their physical health had declined since the pandemic began.”

So it’s time to get serious about Women’s Health!  Women of today are living longer, taking on more opportunities and getting more done than ever before – BUT they are still not prioritising their health! 

The health of Australian Women is not the same as Australian Men. There are differences in both current health (burden of disease), long-term health and cause of death. 

 

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) describes the disease burden for females as follows:

“The distribution of overall burden between the sexes varied by disease group. Compared with males, females experience a greater proportion of the total burden from (AIHW 2019): 

  • blood and metabolic disorders (59%)
  • neurological conditions (58%)
  • musculoskeletal conditions (55%).

“Nearly half (44%) of the total burden of disease for females is from cancer, musculoskeletal conditions, and cardiovascular disease.” – Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

When we look at cause of death of Australian females, the AIHW lists the top 5 causes as:

  • Dementia/Alzheimers Disease
  • Coronary Heart Disease
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Lung Cancer
  • Breast Cancer

The good news is that all of these diseases have modifiable risk factors. There are lifestyle choices and changes that can be made today which will significantly improve health outcomes and lower the risk of getting these conditions across the lifespan. 

What are the risk factors that put us at increased risk of disease and death?

  • Tobacco use
  • Higher Body Mass Index
  • Alcohol Use
  • Physical Inactivity 
  • High Blood Pressure 

** Taken from the research by the Australian Burden of Disease Study which looked at leading risk factors contributing to disease burden.

“The good news is that so many chronic disease risk factors are modifiable through lifestyle choices such as increasing physical activity levels.”

Its not all bad though! The good news is that so many chronic disease risk factors are what we define as “modifiable”. This means that we can make lifestyle choices that can help us improve these health outcomes and hence significantly lower our risk of disease. 

Modifiable risk factors include:

  • Our weight and body fat percentage 
  • Our blood Lipid profile (cholesterol) 
  • Our blood Sugar profile (Insulin and Blood glucose)
  • Our Physical Activity Levels 
  • Our Alcohol/Tobacco use 
  • Our Diets

We can also ensure that we are getting adequate sleep and making an attempt to reduce stress levels which can also compound to put our health at increased risks. 

“We know that exercise can help us improve our insulin, cholesterol, blood pressure and assist in metabolic and weight management.”

Exercise is a great option to start working on a lot of these factors. Exercise helps us improve our physical and mental health and can provide us with a great outlet for social time, dealing with stress, relaxation etc. 

We know that exercise can help us improve our insulin, cholesterol, blood pressure and assist in metabolic and weight management. Combined with prescription medication and a healthy diet, exercising regularly can be that protective factor that helps us keep us healthy and at reduced risk of illness and chronic disease. 

Hear from one of our Drummoyne Exercise Physiologist’s, Kale, about his own experience with the health of women in his life and the many female clients he trains each week:

“The inclusion of exercise has been shown to be incredibly significant in the prevention of chronic disease and conditions related to woman’s health. Such conditions of PCOS, Osteoporosis/Osteopenia and many more are positively affected by exercise and should be incorporated in all treatment and management plans.”

For women who are pregnant or trying to fall pregnant. Exercise has been linked to far better outcomes for both mothers and children along all stages of pregnancy. The greater the health of Mum, the lower the risk of complications and increases the health and happiness of the new child.

Don’t waste any more time. Book in an Exercise Physiology consult today and finally make some real change. Call 1300 964 002 to book in at one of our locations in Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleCastle HillRandwickPymbleBalmainKingsgroveNeutral Bay, Coburg – Melbourne, and Barrie, Ontario – Canada.

References 

https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/uploads/Research/2022-Jean-Hailes-Survey-Report.pdf