Cancer Council is calling on Queensland schools to sign up for its QUEST program, in response to new data revealing 82 per cent of 12 to 17 year olds don’t get adequate daily physical activity and 85 per cent spend more than two hours a day being entertained by screens.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said school action was key to helping kids stay healthy.
“Sedentary behaviour and too much screen time can significantly diminish a young person’s health and happiness, reducing their fitness level and making them susceptible to cancer and other chronic diseases in later life,” Ms Clift said.
“Of particular concern, the number of teens trapped in screen time is creeping up, rising from 79 per cent in 2009-10 to 85 per cent in the most recent study.
“Young people need at least one hour of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity every day for good health – and schools have an important role to play in making it happen.
“Cancer Council’s QUEST program aims to equip schools with the information and resources they need, at no cost, to help kids get active, eat healthy, and stay happy.”
Up to one-third of all cancers are preventable through simple lifestyle adjustments including being active, reducing a sedentary lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight.
“QUEST is designed to help all Queenslanders reduce their risk of preventable cancers and detect cancer early, by working in cooperation with schools and community groups,” Ms Clift said.
“Schools who register will gain access to the latest resources and research to assist with implementing healthy school healthy student strategies.
“QUEST will help young people be more active in the playground and discourage sedentary behaviours, raising awareness of healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
“QUEST is free, and allows schools to set goals and track progress, in cooperation with other QUEST community groups.
“Queensland schools, workplaces and community organisations are invited to sign up at quest.org.au to start improving the health and wellbeing of the wider community today.”
QUEST is an acronym: Quit smoking; Understand your body and get checked; Eat healthy food; Stay SunSmart every day; and Take the time to be active. Each of these strategies has been proven to help reduce individual risk of cancer.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
*National Secondary Students’ Diet and Activity Survey 2012-13 – Cancer Council Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.