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Physical inactivity is costing us big bucks says Sydney University

Two climbers at 9 Degrees
Photograph: Johanes Eliadarius Make your 10,000 steps at day more interesting

In a world first study, the University of Sydney has calculated the global cost of our physical inactivity and the results aren’t pretty. It turns out cuddling up under the covers to watch Netflix after a day in the office is probably killing us and costing the economy thanks to the burden of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The Sydney University report states that the physical inactivity in 2013 cost the world $AU90 billion. The study included data from 142 countries and it estimates that the Australian economy took a hit of $805 million in that year, including healthcare costs and productivity loss.

So it’s not surprising that we’re all being encouraged to move more, whether it’s opting to take the stairs over the elevator or by signing up for the next fun run. Because not all movement requires new activewear, we’ve come up with a quick list of way to get moving this weekend to fight off an early, miserable death. 


Dancers at Sydney Dance Company
Photograph: Peter Greig



  1. Dance and raise cash for charity

Sydney Dance Company is running a Dry July dance class on Friday night. Shake off the week, burn calories and feel good about your $10 donation.


  1. Take the dog for a walk

One of our favourite dog-friendly beaches is Clontarf Beach, on the Spit to Manly walk. Take your pal for a race on the sand and combine it with a stroll along all or part of the 10km coastal walk.


  1. Give bouldering a red-hot go

It’s like rock climbing, but indoors and without any harnesses. You don’t climb that high and there are crash mats. 







  1. Skate yourself fit

Like an aerobics class on four wheels, at RollerFit you’ll go through a series of games, dances and exercises to improve your skating techniques.


  1. Climb 37 flights before brekky

Climb ‘n’ Dine is a new fitness event that involves running up every flight of stairs in the Shangri-La Hotel before tucking into a buffet breakfast. As long as you don’t eat all the calories you’ve burned, we’d call that a win.


  1. Sweat it out

One Hot Yoga heat their studios to 27 and 37 degrees, which is nice and toasty for a bit of cat-cow and downward dog.


  1. Go horse riding at Centennial Park

According to My Fitness Pal, you could burn off 400 calories with an hour’s worth of trotting. You can book a 60-minute ride for $90





  1. Fight your way fit

Learn to kick ass and develop some serious muscle at the same time. This Krav Maga class in Surry Hills includes self-defence techniques, burpees, squats, crunches and push-ups.


  1. Go whale watching on a hill

Trek the short, but uphill walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse and see if you can spot any migrating whales from the top. You’ll work up a sweat on the ascent, so treat yourself to lunch at the Boathouse

  1. Shoot hoops in the park

Call your mates and head to Prince Alfred Park to play a little 3x3 basketball. Raining? Book a court at Cook & Phillip

Looking for more things to do this weekend? Check out our guide to what's on