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1345.4 - SA Stats, Jul 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2007   
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Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation Activities - South Australia

Regular participation in physical activity can provide significant health benefits. Health changes associated with regular participation have been shown to reduce the effects of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers and depression. Social, environmental or cultural factors influence how and why people participate in sports and physical recreation activities.

This article provides an overview of results from the 2005–06 Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) relating to participation in sports and physical recreation activities. The survey was conducted from July 2005 to June 2006 from persons aged 15 years or older. Information on the characteristics of South Australians who participated in any type of sporting or physical recreation activities in the 12 months prior to interview are presented. The data are compared with Australian figures as well as with estimates from other states and territories.

Participation in this article is defined as being a player, competitor or someone who physically undertakes the activity. Non playing roles such as coaches, umpires or officials and administrators are excluded.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPANTS
In 2005–06, 66% of South Australians aged 15 years and over reported participating in sports or physical recreation activities at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. This was the same as the national participation rate (66%). Among the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest participation rate (80%), followed by Western Australia (71%) and Queensland (67%). The Northern Territory had the lowest rate of participation at 58%.

    PARTICIPANTS, SPORT AND PHYSICAL RECREATION, States and Territories

Age and Sex
More South Australian females (415,000, representing a 67% participation rate) than males (390,800 or 65%) participated at least once in a sport or physical recreation activity in the 12 months prior to interview. This was similar to the national rate for males and females (both at 66%).

People aged 15 – 17 years had the highest participation rate (79%) while those aged 65 years and over had the lowest (49%) in South Australia. Nationally persons aged 15–17 and 25–34 years had the highest participation rates (both 75%), while people aged 65 years and over had the lowest (49%).

South Australian male participation rates fluctuated across the different age groups. Males aged 15–17 years had the highest participation rates (83%) while those aged 65 years and over had the lowest (48%). In the graph below, the rates of participation for South Australian males are shown to increase in the 25–34 year and 55–64 year age groups.
    PARTICIPANTS, SPORT AND PHYSICAL RECREATION, Males, South Australia

South Australian females aged 18–24 years had the highest participation rate (77%) and those aged 65 years and over having the lowest (50%). Across the different age groups, females showed a clear inverse relationship between participation rate and age.

PARTICIPANTS, SPORT AND PHYSICAL RECREATION, Females, South Australia

Graph: Participants, Sport and Physical Recreation, Females, South Australia
Source: 'Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005–06' (cat. no. 4177.0).



Birthplace
South Australians born overseas in a non-English speaking country had a lower participation rate (52%) compared to those born in Australia or born overseas in a mainly English-speaking country (both 68%). Females who were born overseas in a non-English speaking country had the lowest rate of participation (48%) among South Australians who participated at least once in a sport or physical recreation activity in the 12 months prior to interview.

Nationally, the rate of participation for people born overseas in a non-English speaking country was lower (52%) compared to those born in Australia (68%) and those born overseas in other main English-speaking country (72%). This relationship was similar across the other states and territories.

Employment status
Employed South Australians had a higher participation rate (72%) than those who were unemployed (58%) and those not in the labour force (56%). South Australians working part-time had a 75% participation rate while those working full-time had a 71% rate of participation.

These figures were similar for Australia and the other states and territories. Across Australia, employed people had a higher participation rate (72%) than the unemployed (66%) and those not in the labour force (55%). The full-time and part-time employed showed similar rates of participation (72% and 73% respectively).

Type of participation
The 2005–06 MPHS classified participation in sports or physical recreation activities into organised and non-organised activities. Organised participation involves participation in activities organised by a club or association. This is not limited to a sporting body, for example it can be a social club, church group, scholars association or gymnasium. Non-organised participation is defined as participation in sporting or physical recreation activities that does not involve a club or association.

An estimated 633,500 or 52% of South Australians aged 15 years and over participated in non-organised sports and physical recreation activities in 2005–06. This was almost double the population who participated in organised sports or physical recreation (333,800 persons or 27%).

The rates of participation in organised and non-organised sports and physical recreation activities for Australia were similar to SA (28% and 54% respectively). These rates were also similar for the other states, ranging from 26 – 30% for organised activities and 52 – 57% for non-organised.

Regularity of participation
Regular participation in sports or physical recreation activities was defined as participation undertaken more than twice a week in the 12 months prior to interview. In that period, 29% or 357,200 South Australians participated in sporting or physical recreation activities on a regular basis. More females (192,000 or 31%) than males (165,200 or 27%) in South Australia participated more than twice weekly in the 12 months prior to interview.

When the regularity of participation is taken into account, the rate of regular participation shows an upward trend with increasing age. South Australians aged 55–64 years had the highest regular participation rate (37%) while those in the 15–17 year age group had the lowest regular participation rate (18%). A possible factor that contributed to this trend could be the choice of activity among the age groups. A majority of South Australians aged 55–64 years (43%) participated in walking for exercise. This is an activity where one can easily be involved, whether alone or in a group, and this may influence one to participate on a regular basis.

These figures are similar for Australia, with 29% of the national population participating more than twice weekly in 2005–06. South Australia had similar rates of more than twice weekly participation with Victoria (29%) and New South Wales (27%). The Australian Capital Territory had the highest rate of more than twice weekly participation (42%) while the Northern Territory had the lowest (26%).

Frequency of participation
Almost one third (32%) of South Australians aged 15 years and over participated in sports and physical recreation activities for a total of 105 times or more (more than twice weekly) in the 12 months prior to interview. The rates of participation for males and females in South Australia at this frequency were 30% and 33% respectively. These rates of participation were similar to those observed for Australia and the other states and territories. Nationally, 32% participated for a total of 105 times or more, with more females (34%) participating at this frequency than males (30%). The ACT had the highest participation rate (45%) at this frequency (105 times or more), followed by Western Australia (38%) with the Northern Territory recording the lowest (29%).

Respondents were further asked as to the number of activities participated in at the different frequencies. There were 15% of South Australians who were involved in only one activity and participated 105 times or more. Nationally, 13% were involved in only one activity and participating for 105 times or more in the 12 months prior to interview. More than half of the national population (56%) were involved in only one activity across all the frequencies of participation.

MAIN SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES
Walking was the most common physical recreation activity among South Australians aged 15 years and over in 2005–06 (28% or 343,000). Aerobics/fitness was the second most popular activity in South Australia (13%) followed by cycling (7%) and tennis (6%). Among South Australian males, walking was also the most popular physical recreation activity (21%), followed by aerobics/fitness (10%), cycling (10%), golf (7%) and Australian Rules football (6%). The most common sports or physical recreation activities among females in South Australia were walking (34%), aerobics/fitness (15%), tennis, swimming and netball (all at 6%).
    PARTICIPANTS, TOP TEN SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES, South Australia

Similar patterns were seen for Australia and the other states and territories with walking and aerobics/fitness being the most common and second most common activity. More people participated in swimming nationally (9%) compared to South Australia (5%). Victoria and SA had similar rates of participation for tennis (5% and 6% respectively). New South Wales had the highest participation rate (4%) and highest number of participants (219,800) for outdoor soccer compared to 17,200 or 1% of South Australians over the same period. The rates of participation for Australian Rules football in South Australia (3%) was similar to Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory and was higher than New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory (1%). Victoria had the highest number of participants (132,500) in Australian Rules football, which is almost half of the national figures (268,700).

Rugby League and Rugby Union were more popular with the eastern states. New South Wales had the highest number of participants for Rugby League (49,500) and Rugby Union (44,700). This made up more than half of the participants nationally for Rugby League (91,700) and Rugby Union (79,900). Queensland had the second highest number of participants for Rugby League (37,000) and Rugby Union (19,800). The participation rate for Rugby League in New South Wales and Queensland was similar to the national rate (1%). There were no participants for Rugby League recorded for Victoria and Tasmania during that period. The rest of the states and the Australian Capital Territory had rates of participation of less than 1% for Rugby League. Though the Northern Territory recorded a participation rate of 2%, the data had a high relative standard error and thus is considered unreliable. A similar pattern was seen with Rugby Union. The rate of participation for Rugby League nationally was similar to the rates for New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory (all 1%). The rest of the states showed participation rates of less than 1% with the Northern Territory recording no participants for Rugby League in the 12 month period leading to interview.

CONSTRAINTS ON PARTICIPATION
Information about the perceived constraints on participation was collected from people who did not participate in sports and physical recreation activities or those who responded that they participated for only 1 – 12 times in all activities in 2005–06. Insufficient time due to work/study was the most commonly reported constraint to participation among South Australians (23%). Other common responses given were ‘not interested’, age/too old (both 18%) and ongoing injury/illness (both 17%). Among males in South Australia, insufficient time due to work or study was the most common constraint to participation (26%). Simply being ‘not interested’ was the most common reason given by South Australian females (21%). More South Australian females than males also reported insufficient time due to family as a constraint on participation (11% and 3% respectively).

MAIN CONSTRAINT, NON-PARTICIPANTS AND LOW LEVEL PARTICIPANTS, South Australia

Graph: Main Constraint, Non-participants and Low Level Participants, South Australia
Source: 'Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005–06' (cat. no. 4177.0).

Nationally, 23% or 1.7 million people indicated that insufficient time due to work/study was the most common constraint to participation. The other states and territories had similar constraints to participation. Insufficient time due to work/study was the most common response given except for Tasmania, where ‘not interested’ was the most common constraint reported (19%).

MOTIVATORS FOR PARTICIPATION
Reasons on why people participate in sports and physical recreation activities were also collected from respondents who participated in all activities 13 times or more in the 12 months prior to interview. Health and fitness was the most common reason (36%) for participation in South Australia. Other reasons stated include enjoyment (21%), well-being (15%) and social/family (13%). Males and females in South Australia also indicated the same motivators for participation. More females than males indicated health and fitness as their main motivator (59% and 53% respectively), with more males than females indicating enjoyment as their main motivator (25% and 16% respectively).

When the respondents were asked to provide their main motivator for participation, health and fitness was also the most common main reason given (56%). This was followed by enjoyment (20%), well-being and social/family (both 7%).
    MAIN MOTIVATOR, PARTICIPANTS, South Australia

The overall Australian figures also indicated that health and fitness (33%), enjoyment (21%), well-being (16%) and social/family (14%) as the most common motivators given by people aged 15 years and over who participated 13 times or more in all activities in 2005–06. Similar motivators were reported for the other states and territories, with health and fitness being the most common reason given for participating in sports and physical recreation.

Further information can be obtained from the publication 'Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Summary of Results, Australia, 2005–06' (cat. no. 4177.0).

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