In the late 1990’s a survey and study of current health concerns and health issues affecting the veteran population was undertaken. A main take away from the study was that the veteran population faced a 15% higher chance of developing heart disease compared to the general population of the same age when considering the risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart disease.

Risk factors include:

Inactivity (physical)

Poor nutritional choices

Co-morbidities i.e. diabetes

Alcohol abuse

Stress and Anxiety

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Sleep issues

A lack of social interaction

In response the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) designed the Heart Health Program to assist participants (Returned Veterans’) to develop a healthy lifestyle. Started in the early 2000’s, the program is based on the National Cardiovascular Health Guidelines and incorporates structured physical activity, educational workshops and biometric screening.

The goal of the program is to improve health and wellbeing via the development of self-management strategies. Strategies that can be relied upon to assist participants to continue to self-manage their own health, fitness and wellbeing in a general sense well into life. Importantly the program also provides participants with opportunities for social interaction and networking.

The FREE program has two separate delivery modes.



Physical health is vital to your mental health which in turn improves your overall quality of life. There are a number of benefits to a regular routine of exercise, balanced nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.

Benefits include:

Increase energy levels

Maintenance of a healthy weight

Prevention of chronic diseases

Greater mobility in spine and joints

Healthy eating practices

Better stress management

Better sleeping patterns

Improved strength, flexibility and co-ordination

We would all like to improve our health but can find it hard to get started, are looking for ways to try something new or just want to refine our current practices. Registering for the Heart Health program can provide the opportunity to get you started or keep you going on the path to new lifelong healthy habits.

The program has been free and open to returned veterans and peacekeepers with operational service and those covered under the ADF firefighters scheme for over 20 years. Initially managed by the Vietnam Veteran Family and Counselling Service (VVCS) now known as Open Arms. Corporate Health Management (CHM) has been proudly managing, delivering and promoting the program for over 8 years.


The Heart Health Program is open to all veterans with operational service, peacekeepers or those covered under the ADF firefighter Scheme and who have not previously participated in a Heart Health Program. All participants require a program medical clearance form to be completed by their GP before beginning.

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