The 15 red heart bike racks will be placed in key locations across the city in a joint initiative between the Heart Foundation and the City of Sydney to encourage people to get active for good health.
National Heart Week runs from Sunday May 3 to Saturday May 9 and aims to raise awareness of heart disease, the leading single cause of death among Australians. This year, the Heart Foundation is calling on Australians to move more and sit less to reduce their risk of heart disease.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the heart hoops would highlight bike riding as an easy and effective way to get more exercise into everyone’s day.
“We know physical exercise is essential for good health and wellbeing, that’s why we want to give residents and workers as many options as possible to be active,” the Lord Mayor said.
“By providing access to safe cycleways and convenient bike parking, we can help encourage even more people to ride and get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise into their day.”
According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, physical inactivity is a major killer and contributes to almost one-quarter of the burden of cardiovascular disease in Australia. It also costs the nation $134.8 billion a year.
NSW Director of Cardiovascular Health at the Heart Foundation, Julie Anne Mitchell, said the heart racks would help promote an important message for all Australians.
“If we are serious about tackling chronic disease, we must be serious about getting Australians to move more and sit less,” said Ms Mitchell.
“Physically active people live longer, have better managed weight, lower blood pressure and healthier cholesterol levels. Active people are also likely to feel more confident, happy, relaxed and sleep better.”
The heart bike rack initiative has been praised by Sydney cardiologist, Professor Gemma Figtree.
“Heart Week is a timely reminder that regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease. Getting enough physical activity is every bit as important to a person’s health as quitting smoking, reducing high blood pressure or blood cholesterol.
“Riding a bike helps keep your heart healthy. It exercises your heart muscle and improves cardiovascular fitness. Regular riding can help lower cholesterol and help maintain lower blood pressure, as well as reduce the likelihood of diabetes – all of which reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
“As someone who rides, I know it’s a great way to incorporate exercise into even the busiest day and makes me feel healthier, happier and fitter.”
The heart-shaped bike racks are co-funded by the Heart Foundation and the City of Sydney. They will be attached to existing sign poles at four key locations on streets across Sydney:
- William Street outside the Heart Foundation
- Victoria Street Potts Point near St Vincent’s Hospital
- Missenden Road outside Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
- Macquarie Street near Sydney Hospital
The public will also be asked to vote for two additional locations. The heart bike racks will remain in place for six weeks.
For information and to nominate a location for a heart bike rack, visit Sydneycycleways.net