Posted March 23, 2019 06:07:24 It’s the time of year to go out, to take in the fresh air, to go for a walk or even just to watch the sunset.
And, for many, it’s also the time to catch up on some work or social media time.
A new study by the University of Melbourne’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing found that the heat wave was “likely to have been triggered by the heatwaves of the early 2020s”, with many Australians suffering “poor health outcomes and chronic illness”.
“The research also found that, on average, Australians aged 50 and over experienced more than 50% more heat related illness, and over a quarter more heat-related hospitalisations and 24% more deaths than Australians aged 18-29,” the study said.
“More than one-quarter of Australians aged over 65 experienced at least one heat related hospitalisation or death in the 12 months prior to the onset of the heat waves, compared to only about half of Australians in the same age group in the previous 12 months.”
Professor Paul Geddes, a co-author from the University’s Institute for Health and Social Care, said the findings were a warning sign for Australians to be aware of the risks of staying indoors and not to try and escape the heat.
Professor Gedds said the Australian Government’s response to the heat was a “pessimistic, one-sided, and unrealistic” one that failed to address the root causes of the problem.
He said the Government was likely to be looking at a range of measures including: limiting the time people spent outside, increasing air conditioning, and making sure people were staying inside.
Mr Geddas said that the Government could be doing more to help people, especially those living with chronic illnesses.
While the researchers are not recommending that everyone stay inside, they do want to encourage people to take advantage of the extra time they have to spend outside.
They also want to make sure that the government and industry take into account the heat’s impact on people’s health, and not just the money they make from it.
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