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Physical inactivity is second only to tobacco use as a contributor to population ill-health (accounting for 7% of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia in 1996) and is the leading contributor to preventable illness and morbidity among women (Mathers, Vos & Stevenson 1999). A sedentary lifestyle doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes and obesity. It also increases the risks of colon and breast cancer, high blood pressure, lipid disorders, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety (WHO 2002a).
8.6 Non-participation in sport/physical recreation activities(a), Indigenous persons aged 15 years or over - 2002
Physical inactivity was strongly associated with self-assessed health status. One-third (33%) of people who did not participate in sport or physical recreation activities rated their health as fair or poor, compared with 14% of people who did participate. Moreover, 34% of people who were not physically active rated their health as excellent or very good compared with more than one-half (55%) of people who were physically active.
8.7 Prevalence of health risk factors among young Aboriginal people in Western Australia