We are active in looking after our health.
South Australians are living longer and we have an ageing population. South Australia has the highest proportion of older people in the nation, with one in six people aged 65 or over. In the next 15 years this number will grow over one and a half times.
Although significant advances in medicine and healthcare treatments are achieved each day, demands on our health system are also increasing. South Australia has a high quality health care system. South Australians expect and deserve quality care to be available in emergencies.
Chronic disease reduces our quality of life and make up more than 70% of diseases affecting Australians. One of the fastest growing chronic diseases in South Australia, diabetes, is preventable.
The link between lifestyle choice and disease is clear. Many of us can improve our quality of life by making changes in the choices we make. Obesity now ranks with tobacco as the number one preventable cause of death in South Australia. Smoking claims 22 South Australian lives each week and over one third of South Australians consume alcohol at levels considered risky or high risk. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing drinking and eating well can all increase our wellbeing and enjoyment of life.
Day to day factors like work, transport, social support and stress also affect health. Simple things like catching public transport or walking to local shops, sport and exercise increase both our physical and mental health. The way we plan communities in terms of infrastructure and easily accessible facilities can greatly contribute to positive health benefits for the community.