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Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Associate Professor Verity Cleland, Institution: University of Tasmania

2014 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2015-2020


Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Physical activity, on the other hand, is beneficial in preventing and managing major CVD risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Despite this, 70% of Australian adults are not active at recommended levels.

Some groups – including women, those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage and those living in rural areas – are even less active. Changing behaviour is difficult, but key life stages and events (e.g. leaving school, parenthood and retirement) are times when changes in social roles, peer groups, schedules and leisure activities occur. These may therefore be important times to promote health messages.

This research will identify the critical factors during life transitions that underlie women's physical activity, and test strategies that target these factors to increase physical activity levels. Increases in physical activity will lead to improvements in cardiovascular health in these high-risk population groups.

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