I am
$1.2 million budget plea to help Victorians pick up the pace
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

$1.2 million budget plea to help Victorians pick up the pace

Media release: 20 October 2021

The Heart Foundation is calling for $1.2 million to tackle Victoria’s poor exercise scorecard in Melbourne’s outer growth areas and regional heart hotspots.

The heart health charity has urged the Victorian State Government for its support to expand the Heart Foundation’s Walking Program in priority areas to help save more lives and avoid hospital admissions. 

Heart Foundation Heart Maps data reveal alarming inequities exist, with higher rates of physical inactivity, coronary heart disease deaths and hospitalisations found in lower socio-economic areas across the state.

Heart Foundation’s CEO in Victoria, Kellie-Ann Jolly, said where people live should not disadvantage their heart health and investing in walking pays dividends through saving lives and cutting healthcare costs for heart disease, Victoria’s single leading cause of death.  

“We know some of the state’s heart hotspots lack enough Heart Foundation walking groups to serve the whole community. With more support, we can expand our free walking groups and recruit volunteers in priority regions like Melbourne’s North West or Shepparton to help drive down risk factors for heart disease, save more lives and keep families together,” Ms Jolly said.

“COVID-19 continues to stress-test our healthcare system so investing in prevention activities, like walking, is critical if we are to help people stay fitter for longer and out of hospital.” 

More than 4800 Victorians die and 36,000 are hospitalised each year from coronary heart disease. The healthcare benefits are enormous – studies have found that for every dollar invested in walking, it returns $13.

Ms Jolly added, “At least 30 minutes of brisk walking most days is enough to help people reduce their risks of heart disease by 30 to 40 per cent. 

“Being regularly active is a heart muscle workout that helps manage weight, reduces stress and boosts mood. As well, it helps manage clinical risks for heart disease, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.” 

Since the Heart Foundation launched its Personal Walking Plans (PWPs) in March 2021, more than 25,700 keen Victorians have used the plans to kickstart their exercise routines and stay motivated during the pandemic. 

A recent survey of PWP participants found only 20 per cent did the recommended 30 minutes of exercise on most days. After completing the program, this doubled to 48 per cent. Overall, 92 per cent of participants noticed an improvement in their health.

“Whether using our Personal Walking Plans to set fitness goals or joining a Heart Foundation walking group to find a walking buddy, we know people who are less active need extra support to stay motivated and on track. We’re pleased that 92 per cent of people who join Heart Foundation walking groups remain in the program six months later,” Ms Jolly said. 

“And an added benefit for business - people often spend locally on a quick coffee or last minute groceries when they leave their cars behind to walk neighourhoods with friends, family or pets.” 

Ms Jolly urged the State Government to boost walking investment in its next budget to build healthier, resilient communities in Victoria’s priority regions.

“Together we can tackle the heartbreaking toll of heart disease in this state by supporting more Victorians to switch off devices, step away from the telly and be active regularly.

“No matter your age or stage in life, it’s never too late to pick up the pace for healthier hearts.”

Read the Heart Foundation’s 2022-23 Victorian pre-budget submission here

Go to walking.heartfoundation.org.au to find a walking group or sign up to a free Personal Walking Plan. 

Heart Foundation Walking is supported by the Australian Government, the Queensland Government and SportAUS

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Environment, climate change and heart health

Information on how air pollution, heatwaves and bushfires can impact heart health, and what you can do to look after yourself. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Could you be at risk of heart disease? Get your estimated heart age now....

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

How we fought heart disease in 2020

Everything we do is possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters. ...

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Building physical activity into urban planning and design

Resources available for built environment professionals to help guide in the development of active outdoor and indoor spaces....

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Cheesy Mexican vegetable pie

Cheesy Mexican vegetable pie

Cheesy Mexican vegetable pie

1 hour
Serves 4

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Taking your heart medicines

Taking your heart medicines

Taking your heart medicines

Know what your heart medicines are for and how to take them. ...

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

What is heart valve disease?

Heart valve disease means that your heart valve or valves don't open or close properly....

Chicken recipes

Chicken recipes

Chicken recipes

Find heart healthy chicken recipes....

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast recipes

Heart healthy breakfasts to start your day right...

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

The NSW Cardiac Rehabilitation Working Group

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Find heart healthy seafood recipes...

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Cardiac rehabilitation resources for healthcare providers

Useful cardiac rehabilitation resources for health professionals....

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

This webinar discusses the role of practice nurses in conducting heart health checks...

Cardiovascular disease risk factors and heart attack warning signs in women

Cardiovascular disease risk factors and heart attack warning signs in women

Cardiovascular disease risk factors and heart attack warning signs in women

Information for healthcare professionals and the public on cardiovascular disease risk factors and warning signs affecting women. ...

Heart stories

Heart stories

Heart stories

Stories of hope from Australian men and women fighting heart disease....

Holiday Treats | Holiday Recipe Booklet

Holiday Treats | Holiday Recipe Booklet

Holiday Treats | Holiday Recipe Booklet

Bring family and friends together in the kitchen over this Festive season to help you create your favourite festive treats!...

Heart Foundation reviews its operations in challenging financial environment

Heart Foundation reviews its operations in challenging financial environment

Heart Foundation reviews its operations in challenging financial environment

6 September 2021...

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

We need your opinion, experience and skills to help us improve the heart health of all Australians. ...

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

Resources for healthcare professionals on the management of patients with heart failure ...

Q&A with Dr Thanh Nho Do

Q&A with Dr Thanh Nho Do

Q&A with Dr Thanh Nho Do

Developing a new soft robotic heart device to help people with heart failure awaiting a heart transplant ...

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....

Green power smoothie

Green power smoothie

Green power smoothie

10 minutes

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

A family history of heart disease could mean you are at greater risk....

24-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

24-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

24-hour Blood Pressure Monitoring

Blood pressure monitoring at home using a 24-hour blood pressure monitor test....

Overcoming uncertainty: Bianca Beetham’s heart story

Overcoming uncertainty: Bianca Beetham’s heart story

Overcoming uncertainty: Bianca Beetham’s heart story

Bianca Beetham is 24 years old and lives in Sydney. She is currently waiting for her first open-heart surgery after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy five years ago....