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1300.1.55.001 - Statistics News NSW, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/06/2008   
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SURVEYING THE FIELD

Defining Sport and Exercise in Australia


In February, the National Centre for Culture and Recreation Statistics (NCCRS) released a Discussion Paper: Defining Sport and Exercise, a Conceptual Model, 2008 (cat no. 4149.0).

If you have ever contemplated the question "What is sport?" or "What is exercise?" then this paper will be of interest to you. The discussion paper presents definitions of sport, exercise and physical recreation. It also examines the relationship between these overlapping concepts and brings them together in a conceptual model. The model outlines what activities may be considered in scope for research on exercise, physical recreation and sport.

As a precursor to the development of this conceptual model, an analysis of sports and physical activity surveys was undertaken to review 30 surveys conducted at the national, state or territory level. This earlier analysis informed the development of the conceptual model.

The aim of developing a conceptual model for sport and exercise is to aid interpretation and future development of surveys in this field. However, even when concepts are well defined, there can still be practical difficulties in designing a survey to accurately measure the concepts, and this is also briefly discussed in the paper.

The model is presented in draft form in order to provide the opportunity for feedback and comment. The ABS would be particularly keen to hear feedback from specialists working in the field of sport and physical activity policy, research or measurement.

If you have any comments or wish to discuss the paper with us, please contact Mike Stratton (08) 8237 7399 or Megan Warner (08) 8237 7387 in the Sport Statistics Unit of NCCRS. Alternatively, comments and feedback may be emailed to nccrs@abs.gov.au.

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