The AMA welcomed Government funding for a study into the best ways to encourage more Australians to take up cycling, but said more could be done for other forms of exercise as well.

Chair of the AMA Public Health Committee, Dr John Gullotta, said encouraging more people to "get on their bike" was a good start but there was a need to fund other types of physical activity, such as walking or running.

"The AMA is calling on all levels of Government to provide settings that support and promote safe participation in physical activity, both planned exercise and incidental," Dr Gullotta said.

"This includes planning new developments, and upgrading existing ones, to include playgrounds, cycle paths, and walking paths.

"Cycle paths and cycle lanes on our roadways are great ways to encourage people to ride to their destination, rather than getting in the car.

"But why stop at cycling? Walking paths and planned distances to between car parks and shops are equally as effective at getting people to do a bit of extra walking each day."

Regular physical activity helps prevent chronic diseases, can help alleviate symptoms from existing poor health, and benefits a person's mental health.

Dr Gullotta said Governments should also look at ways to improve access to physical activities for the elderly, poor, or disabled.

Australian Medical Association

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