Wuchopperen Health Service Limited’s successful exercise program has expanded with a new partnership engaging two Cairns primary schools to tackle unhealthy lifestyles and obesity rates in children.
The Wuchopperen team will visit Cairns West and Balaclava Primary Schools every week to work with over 60 children in year five on exercise sessions and making healthy life choices.
Exercise Physiologist at Wuchopperen, Myles Hardy says the program is tackling unhealthy lifestyle factors and making long term change for children in our community.
“There is so much research out there which shows obesity and unhealthy lifestyles in childhood carry over into adulthood, resulting in an increase in the risk of developing chronic disease, and reducing overall life expectancy,” says Myles.
In Queensland alone, 27 per cent of children are overweight or obese and according to research from 2013, around 30 per cent of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children were overweight or obese.
“We want to work with young people to establish healthy habits in the younger years. Our program will focus on exercise, but will also have other members of the Wuchopperen team working with the kids in the program on mental health, nutrition and overall healthy lifestyle factors,” says Myles.
The program is now in its second week and will run until the end of the school term.
Wuchopperen also works with our Elders in the community to increase exercise and improve social and physical health outcomes, with a total of 976 sessions provided to both men’s and women’s groups in the last financial year.
“You’re never too young or too old to make change and start living a healthier life. We see people come through Wuchopperen who have never exercised before and start training in their 60s. It is really inspiring see people take their health in their own hands at any age, but the sooner we can get people focused on living a healthy life, the easier it is to implement life-long health habits,” says Myles.
Before starting any new exercise regime, Wuchopperen recommends consulting with a healthcare professional.