The fit generation

Which generation exercises more? The answer will shock you.

Young Australians are putting their physical and mental health at risk by dedicating less time to exercise than their parents.

Research commissioned by Suicide Prevention Australia found 70% of 18 to 24-year-olds struggled to make time to exercise.

While only 63% of parents, 53% of 35 to 44-year-olds and 29% percent of 55 to 64-year-olds faced the same struggles when working out.

The number one reason for the lack of exercise in young Australians (68 percent) came down to not having enough ‘mental or physical energy’, only 35 percent of adults aged 65+ faced the same struggles.

Most alarmingly, 49% of young Australians aged between 18 and 24 said they hadn’t exercised in so long that they didn’t even know how to start again.

Australian Medical Association Queensland President Dr Dilip Dhupelia said Australians should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

“We are not asking people to become gym junkies,” he said.

“Eating well and consuming less sugars and carbohydrates that aren’t essential to your body and exercising for half an hour a day, five days a week, will enable most people to control their weight, if not lose weight.

Dr Dhupelia said exercise was essential for people to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.

“People with higher levels of physical activity also have lower chances of developing depression in the future,” he said.

“Studies show that when you exercise, different proteins are released into the blood stream that benefit your mood.”

Do you have feeling that someone you know or care about isn’t quite themselves? Do they seem out of sorts? Withdrawn? Make sure to trust your gut and ask R U Ok?

R U Ok Day takes places on Thursday 13 September and is a national day of action, encouraging people to contact anyone they care about and simply ask ‘Are you okay?’.

The initiative which was created in 2009 and aims to reduce the occurrence of suicide among Australians. For more information, visit the R U OK Day website.