Wellington Scoop

12-hour cycling challenge to launch ‘Breathe Better September”

Press Release – Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand
Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ kicks off its Breathe Better September 2018 campaign to coincide with the first day of spring – 1 September. – when asthma and other respiratory conditions can become an increased risk to sufferers.

Throughout September, this national campaign will help to raise awareness and encourage fundraising to help support those living with a respiratory illness in New Zealand. As it’s the start of spring, the Foundation is reminding people with asthma or a respiratory condition to get prepared for the season ahead.

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ has teamed up with Les Mills Extreme to launch the campaign on Saturday 1 September 2018 with a 12 hour biking challenge ‘Bike for Better Breathing’ event in Wellington. There’s Breathe Better September events taking place around the country in a big awareness drive.

Asthma and respiratory diseases are two of the leading causes of sickness and death in New Zealand. One in six people have a respiratory disease. It’s the third most common cause of death. Respiratory conditions costs our country over $6B each year. One in seven children have asthma. Based on the severity of these facts, this campaign calls for the whole nation to become actively informed about asthma and other respiratory conditions and to help raise funds for much needed support for those living with these conditions.

Teresa Demetriou, Head of Education and Research at Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, comments: “Every year our campaign gets bigger and bigger. This year we’ve got a whole host of activities around the country to spread the word about asthma and respiratory disease in New Zealand. It’s a sad fact that just too many people are affected by respiratory diseases, and we need to do a lot more work in terms of education, prevention, management and treatment of patients.”

People all over New Zealand are encouraged to take on a personal challenge – the ‘Better Breathing Challenge’ – throughout September to help raise awareness and fundraise. Whether it’s a walk round the block every day for the month, riding your bicycle or a pram walk once a week during September, or challenging yourself to do five minutes of meditation or yoga a day. For more information on the campaign or to register your own fundraising event visit www.breathebetterseptember.co.nz

Erin Simpson, TV personality and Ambassador for Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, adds: “After suffering from asthma for most of my life, I know how important this national awareness campaign is. Let’s offer support to those who need it and let’s get more awareness out there so that we can start to make a real difference to those with asthma and respiratory conditions. At this time of year it makes it all the more important, as we head into spring. Let’s all get on board and challenge ourselves – respiratory health can be a challenge in itself!”

Teresa Demetriou, Head of Education and Research at Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ, adds: “The campaign promotes a healthy active lifestyle, which can benefit those with a respiratory condition. This campaign comes at a time when asthma and other respiratory conditions can really ramp up at the start of spring; but everyone is different and different times of the year can affect people in different ways. Our general advice is to make sure that if people are worried they should go and visit their GP or health professional early before we really get into spring. If you’re an asthma sufferer and only take your preventer inhaler during the spring and summer when pollen is a problem for you, it’s really important to start using your preventer ahead of the predicted pollen season as it can take some weeks for the medication to get into your system.”

Respiratory disease includes asthma, bronchiectasis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and obstructive sleep apnoea.

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ is calling all organisations, schools, clubs, businesses, families and individuals across the country to set up their own Better Breathing Challenge fundraising page on ‘Everyday Hero’. Or, people can sponsor others who have already set up Challenges from around the country. For more information and details visit www.breathebetterseptember.co.nz


Quick facts
• Respiratory disease is New Zealand’s third most common cause of death.
• Respiratory disease costs New Zealand over $6 billion every year.
• One in six (over 700,000) New Zealanders live with a respiratory condition.
• Respiratory disease accounts for one in eight of all hospital stays.
• One in seven children and one in nine adults in New Zealand have asthma.
• It’s estimated that 586,000 school days are lost each year due to asthma related symptoms in children.
• More than half of the people admitted to hospital with a poverty-related condition are there because of a respiratory problem such as asthma, bronchiolitis, acute infection or pneumonia.
• People living in the most deprived households are admitted to hospital for respiratory illness over three times more often than people from the wealthiest areas.
• Across all age groups, hospitalisation rates are much higher for Pacific peoples (2.6 times higher) and Maori (2.1 times higher) than for other ethnic groups (Telfar Barnard et al., 2015).

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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