Meet our Physical Activity Research Group
CQUniversity's 10 000 Steps program has been running for 17 years, aiming to help people become more physically active and lead a healthy lifestyle. 10 000 Steps is funded by the Queensland Government.
The program itself collects a humungous amount of data. We’ve got, you know, thousands and thousands of people on the website, and they’re using our website and the app in certain ways. So we can go and look at how people use the program and then do statistical analysis to see what works best, what doesn’t work so well, what are they using, what are they not using and we can then publish that in the scientific literature.
CQHealth decided to partner with 10,000 Steps mostly because of their reputation and what they’ve already achieved across Australia and across the world. I mean, 10,000 Steps now has 200 billion steps, they now have hundreds of thousands of people involved. They’ve changed the lives of a lot of people and that’s what we hope to do as well. Health is the major issue. Lifestyle health is the key issue facing Australia and probably facing the world and 10,000 Steps has already got the results on the board, so we decided to partner with them. At the moment, there is a two-year difference in life expectancy for Central Queenslanders when compared to Queenslanders. So there is quite a large gap and a lot of that comes down to lifestyle-related issues. Success is a long way off, but success means that we will close the health gap. But we can’t do it alone, we need partners. This is something the whole community needs to become involved in. Every partner, every business, every industry, every person. We need the support of everybody working together to achieve that goal. Without CQUni and without those partners we can’t achieve. So what we have achieved so far is nothing compared to what 10,000 Steps has achieved. But we believe that we are starting to raise awareness of healthy lifestyles. Our 10,000 Lives Project has targeted smoking, has targeted exercise and has targeted obesity. So really it’s about changing lifestyle. We call it a healthy lifestyle campaign. We don’t necessarily want people to go out and do exercise, we just want people to get active, watch what they eat, watch how much sun they get, how much alcohol they drink. Everything that contributes to those lifestyle-related illnesses.
Active people are more productive, they’re less sick, they have a better morale, they’re better in team workings, so at the end of the day, it’s good for the bottom line of those businesses to have healthy, active employees. The 10,000 Steps Program is one of the most recognisable health promotion programs all around. About 75% of Queenslanders actually know that we exist. If you compare that to any other health promotion program, that would be down to single digit numbers. The great benefit that 10,000 Steps has, it has been around for 17 years or 18 years now and that legacy really starts to build, so that’s one thing. The other thing that’s really important with the 10,000 Steps Program is that it demonstrates that you don’t have to do high-intense, vigorous physical activity and exercise. You can just go for a walk and still have all the health benefits that come with that, and also, importantly, the program has been copied all around the world. So it started here in Rockhampton, but they’ve done it in Belgium, they’ve done it in New Zealand, they’ve done it in the United States and it’s also had copycats that used different names, so the impact has been truly global.