I attended the Business Summit for Fitness industry professionals in Sydney last week at what is known as the Filex Convention. There were some great speakers about various aspects of the industry and the future of fitness in Australia. Some numbers were mentioned. Under 15% of people in Australia currently exercise regularly and over 60% of Australians are now considered overweight or obese meaning there are A LOT of people heading in the wrong direction. One of our industry leaders Greg Oliver spoke about the lobbying efforts of our peak body, Network Fitness to the Australian Government to encourage politicians to look at tax reform to incentivise people to start moving more. As crude as it may seem, the hip pocket motivates. Just look at what the baby bonus did for population growth and ….plasma TV sales. I am a little cynical I know but the Government needs to be trying some serious tactics to turn this thing around.
There were two factors identified as a good starting point from a Government policy perspective. The first is FBT for businesses for any fitness/health initiatives for employees. What message is it sending to tax businesses for helping their staff get healthier? The second one is the common sense proposal of making personal investment in anything health/fitness related tax deductible and or contributing towards reducing health insurance premiums for individuals smart enough to be investing in their own health.
The sooner the government realises (and resolves to implement some serious strategies to address) that the cost of being overweight, obese and or unhealthy is going to be unmanageable in the not too distant future, the better. Any support you can give would be helpful. With grass roots effort from each individual in some way, we can begin to turn the tide because make no mistake, no matter how healthy your are the cost of the rest of society not being so WILL definitely impact you. Also, keep in mind that a society with more healthy, happy and productive people will indeed be a more positive one on so many levels. Start talking to your local member about this super important issue.