Health of Rural Australians
Unfortunately when it comes to health, Rural Australians lag well behind their city counterparts. People who live in rural areas tend to have shorter lives and higher levels of illness and disease risk factors than those in major cities. For example a man born in a disadvantage part of western NSW can expect to live about 11 years less than one born in an affluent Sydney suburb (Source: National Rural Health Alliance Inc. Media Release 28th January 2010).
Rural and remote areas have ageing populations with high rates of chronic disease.
Australia-wide evidence shows that rural Australians have:
10% higher levels of mortality and 20% higher reported rates of fair or poor health.
(Source: National Rural Health Alliance Inc. Health Promotion & Illness Prevention Fact Sheet 5 – May 2009)
Rural people have 20% - 40% higher rates of risky alcohol consumption than metropolitan Australians. (Source: National Rural Health Alliance Inc. Health Promotion & Illness Prevention Fact Sheets 21 & 5 – May 2009)
They are more overweight and take less exercise than city people. The myth of an agricultural utopia is that living on a farm is a stress-free, happy and healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately this is not the case. Preliminary research reveals that 64% of farm men and women are either obese or overweight which is higher than the current Australian national averages. (Brumby et al. BMC Research Notes 2011, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/4/89 (30 March 2011))
They are impacted by changing agricultural practices which includes more technology and less physical activity. There was a time when the farmer would ride a horse and walk for miles to manage the day-to-day running of the farm. However farmers today use quad bikes, motor bikes and cars. Their physical activity is seasonal, spasmodic, unplanned or non-existent.
More detailed information on the health of rural Australians contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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