In an Australian first the Heart Foundation today launched an initiative to help governments plan for healthier communities.

It will be used by local governments, architects and town planners to build developments that encourage physical activity.

Ashleigh Elliott reports.

[flashvideo file= /]


Brisbane development is about to get the Heart Foundation tick of approval.

Today Health Minister Paul Lucas and the CEO for the Heart Foundation launched the initiative to promote healthier lifestyles.

Paul Lucas, Health Minister: “This project is about understanding that there are many, many facets to actually having a healthy society.”

The idea is to provide developing Brisbane with more facilities within a walkable distance.

Paul Lucas, Health Minister: “Urban design in itself can make a difference to how active communities are.”

It would mean areas surrounding transport nodes would be further developed.

Cameron Prout, Heart Foundation CEO: “Build density around them, that means people can work, live, shop and get to their local destinations within an easy walk rather than having to get into the car.”

Physical inactivity and poor diet are some of the leading risk factors for chronic disease obesity alone costs the State twelve billion dollars annually.

But a healthy lifestyle also needs to be sun-smart.

Cherie Nicholas, Group Walking State Co-ordinator: “In Queensland any sort of activity or project you put in place for physical activity has to take in to account the climate.”

With 67 per cent of cardiovascular disease in Queensland due to an unhealthy lifestyle, getting out and being active is critical.”

Ben Wilson, Bicycle Queensland: “This is a great thing for the future but we’ll wait and see when it actually gets rolled out.”

Ashleigh Elliott, QUT News.