The Australian Institute of Health & Welfare reports these facts. In 2017/18:

  • 25% of children and adolescents (2 to 17) were overweight or obese
  • 67% of adults were overweight or obese
  • 31% of all Australians were obese – up 12% from 1995

It is estimated that there will be $88 Billion additional costs to the Australian economy in the 10-year period 2015 to 2025, if no action taken to slow the rise of obesity.

Schools and teachers play a critical role in teaching Australian children the benefits of leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Along with parents, the community and government, the obesity trend line can be changed. To help reverse the trend, we need to ensure that quality health and physical education (HPE) is being delivered into our primary and secondary schools.

HPE is one of the eight learning areas in the Australian School Curriculum. Research shows that children’s participation in physical activity leads to better student engagement, improved academic achievement, and better health outcomes in adult life.

HPE can help change the upward obesity trend.

But not all students are getting the benefit of quality HPE says ACHPER CEO, John Stokes. “Inconsistencies in curriculum delivery throughout the country, means that many students are missing out on learning about the importance of embracing an active and healthy lifestyle”

That’s part of the advocacy focus of ACHPER’s annual National HPE Day on 12 September.

“The day aims to raise the awareness of the value of HPE in the Australian Curriculum; the important role it plays in the learning development of children and the long-term benefit to the community” says John Stokes.

100,000 Australian school students are participating.

Sport Australia and Tennis Australia are major Partners.

John Stokes says, “We have a vision to create a unique annual event and send a great message to the rest of the world – Australia is 100% committed in teaching all of its children about the real benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle”.

In 2019, Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ) held their first HPE Day. It has mirrored ACHPER’s format.