Type 2 diabetes is one of the most common afflictions that can strike a person in the modern day. In fact, according to Diabetes Australia, it is the "epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia's health system".
The organisation explained that around 1.7 million Australians suffer from diabetes, with an estimated 500,000 people currently living with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. In fact, the "epidemic" is so widespread that one new person develops the incurable illness every five minutes in Australia – or 280 people every day.
So, whether you are a company looking to educate employees around some of the most pressing medical concerns as part of your corporate health plan, or an individual hoping to avoid exclusions to your health insurance policy, it pays to take diabetes seriously.
Warding off diabetes
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) recently touched upon the subject, finding that the risks of diabetes – particularly type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 85 per cent of all diabetes sufferers – can be limited significantly with regular exercise.
"Research shows that exercising and eating well can prevent up to 58 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases, and it doesn't have to be extreme or exhausting exercise," AMA President Professor Brian Owler began.
Quoting the Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, the AMA said that people should aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise or 1.25 hours of vigorous physical activity every week to lead a healthier lifestyle.
While it may sound like a fair amount to people with busy schedules, Professor Owler continued to explain that it can be spread out across a seven-day period.
"Initially this can be done in short bursts, and can be built up over time," he said. "Activity can range from going to the gym, playing sport, jogging or power walking to more moderate activity like walking the dog or taking the stairs instead of elevators or escalators.
"You don't have to be an athlete to exercise, but it is important for everyone to undertake some form of physical activity every day."
Reducing cardiovascular disease risks
So, exercise could be the key to avoiding serious illness, leading to the possibility of making fewer claims on a health insurance policy for any associated treatment.
On top of the new research into the effect of physical activity in diabetes prevention, the AMA also said that exercise can help with other critical illnesses, including cardiovascular disease.
The latter is responsible for one in three Australian deaths, so the benefits of regular exercise cannot be understated.
If you need help with your health insurance policy, or are worried that you may not be covered for some of Australia's most pressing health issues, contact HICA today on 1300 44 22 01 for free and impartial assistance.