Mayor encourages heart health

Port Lincoln residents have been encouraged by the mayor Brad Flaherty to get their heart health checked, with the Heart Foundation in the city today and tomorrow.

The foundation is carrying out free blood pressure and cholesterol checks for members of the public in rural and regional areas as part of their Community Hearts program.

"We've partnered with Toyota and are visiting all regional and rural areas they're based in," said Doctor Kate Murton.

"We want to empower South Australians to get a heart health check.

"For a car analogy, a heart health check is a full service, today is just an oil change or a mini-check."

The Heart Foundation said citizens in the Port Lincoln and Lower Eyre Peninsula local government area were ranked in the top 50 per cent of worst performing LGAs in the state for deaths from coronary heart disease.

Heart Foundation SA chief executive officer Imelda Lynch said the obesity was a leading risk factor for heart disease.

"The obesity level is 34 per cent in Port Lincoln which is higher than the national average of 28 per cent," she said.

"Up to 71 per cent of Port Lincoln residents are not meeting the minimal physical activity standard of exercising for 30 minutes per day.

"This is of great concern, as exercise has a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol and is important for overall health and wellbeing."

Mr Flaherty said he had always made a point of getting regular health checks even after leaving the army and police force.

"I see my GP regularly and I encourage everyone to do the same," he said.

"You cannot remain complacent about your heart health and this is your opportunity to find out about some of the leading risk factors for heart disease."

He said it was particularly important for older men to get their check ups.

To get your heart health mini check up, visit the Peter Kittle Toyota dealership between 9am and 4pm Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Heart Foundation is also conducting a larger research project and encourages anyone in the eligible age group to participate during the health check.