Injuries Injuries CREDIT: ACC
Injuries 2 Injuries 2 CREDIT: ACC

ACC gets 1000 Kiwis fit every week

Monday 21 May 2007, 9:57AM
By Mediacom

A thousand New Zealanders a week, on average, are signing up for a healthy lifestyle by using a new website that provides free, tailored fitness and nutritional advice.

Since ‘going live’ with a new website six weeks ago, ACC, in association with the Ministry of Health, SPARC, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Society, have had over 6000 people log on to produce personalised fitness programmes and dietary advice.

“The site is for everyone, but we’re particularly targeting those people who decide to get back into sports or exercise after a long break,’ says Injury Prevention Team Leader Simon Gianotti. ‘It’s these people who tend to throw themselves back into activity and suffer injuries due to lack of fitness. ActiveSmart assesses your current level of fitness and designs a programme that will build on that fitness and help you reach your goals – whether that be taking up a new sport or reaching a fitness target.”

The sporting programme itself was designed by a team of top sports professionals including Mat Blair and Hugh Biss, two of NZ’s top physical conditioning experts who currently design programmes for top athletes. Nutritional advice is provided on the site by Professor of Nutrition at AUT Elaine Rush. The focus of the advice is on creating diets to complement an increased level of exercise.

The early success of the ActiveSmart site will be acknowledged today during a parliamentary function.

ActiveSmart has already received some high-level support from sportspeople and politicians alike. Minister for ACC Hon Ruth Dyson; Minister for Sport Hon Trevor Mallard and Associate Minister of Health Hon Pete Hodgson will all attend the reception, as will Silver Fern Irene Van Dyk and double world mountain running champion Melissa Moon.

The site has been visited by 26,000 people with over 6000 creating their own tailored programmes. Statistics from the site show that 70% of those who logged in were female. 66% of those who logged in felt that they had a poor level of fitness.

The site features optional email programme reminders, regional events and weather updates and video footage of correct stretching techniques.

To create your own fitness programme go to Specific sports programmes are also available on the following sites:


Sports Injury information

In the 12 months to 30 June 2006, there were 360,000 claims from people participating in recreational activities or playing sport. Almost 21,000 of them were moderate to serious injuries. In the same period, 74 people died from injuries suffered while participating in recreational activities or playing sport.

Questions and Answers

What can I do to be safer playing sport or doing recreational activities?

Always warm up and cool down.
Wear protective gear.
Treat injuries as soon as you can.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Follow the rules and play fair.

How many people get injured or killed in sports and recreational activities?

In the 12 month period to 30 June 2006, there were 360,000 claims from people while participating in recreational activities or playing sport, with 20,810 of those classified as moderate to serious injuries. These injuries required attention from doctors, dentists, physiotherapists or other medical professionals. The moderate and serious injuries prevented people from going to work or had some other significant or ongoing impact on their lives.

In the same period, 74 people died from injuries suffered while doing recreational activities or playing sport.

What are the most common injuries for people playing sport or doing recreational activities?

Almost six out of 10 sports and recreation injuries are cuts, abrasions and sprains. The next most common type of injuries is fractures and dislocations, which account for more than a third of all moderate and serious injuries suffered in sports and recreation. Soft tissue injuries are amenable to the R.I.C.E.D. technique (Rest, Ice, Compression, Evaluation and Diagnosis) that ACC promotes.

Drownings are the most common fatalities among sports and recreation activities, with 24 of last year’s total 74 sports and recreation fatalities related to water sports.

What sports or recreation activities cause the most injuries and deaths?

While ACC has raw statistics for sport and recreation injuries and deaths, meaningful analysis is not possible because no reliable information is available about how many people participate in many popular sporting codes or how many people engage in various informally organised recreational activities.

Are sports and recreation injuries and fatalities more common in any particular places or regions?

The highest rate of sports and recreation injuries is in Otago, with more than eight moderate and serious injuries for every 1000 people in the province, while the lowest rate is in Auckland, with just over four injuries for every 1000 people. The rate of sports and recreation injuries in cities and urbanised areas is lower because people leave their cities and towns to do things like skiing, hiking, fishing, hunting, or mountain climbing. This is also why sport and recreation fatalities are a relatively high proportion of total fatalities in areas such as Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman and the West Coast that have no large cities and large areas used for outdoor recreation.