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4156.0 - Sport and Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia , 2006 Edition 2  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/11/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 3.1 Participation - Introduction >> Chapter 3.6 Participation - Participation in Exercise

PARTICIPATION


PARTICIPATION IN EXERCISE

The National Health Survey (NHS) has collected comparable information on participation in exercise (walking, moderate exercise and vigorous exercise) by Australians aged 18 years and over for several successive surveys, commencing with 1989-90. The data include all persons who participated in low, moderate or high levels of exercise. The levels of exercise participation during the two weeks prior to interview were defined as follows.

  • High: more than 3200 minutes and 2 hours or more of vigorous exercise
  • Moderate: 1600-3200 minutes, or more than 3200 minutes but less than 2 hours of vigorous exercise
  • Low: 100 minutes to less than 1600 minutes.

Persons participating in less than 100 minutes of exercise (or no exercise at all) were defined as sedentary.


According to the NHS, the overall percentage of persons aged 18 years and over participating in exercise increased progressively from 1989-90 to reach 68.4% in 2001. Most of this increase was attributable to increased participation in low level exercise. There was little change in the percentage of persons participating in exercise at moderate or high levels. For 2004-05, however, the NHS recorded a level of 65.9% for the overall percentage of persons participating in exercise.


There were 66.9% of males and 73.6% of females classified as having a sedentary or low exercise level in 2004-05, whereas only 8.3% of males and 4.3% of females were classified as having a high level of exercise.

3.10 EXERCISE LEVEL(a)(b), By sex - 1995, 2001 and 2004-05

1995
2001
2004-05
Exercise level
%
%
%

MALES

Sedentary
35.0
30.9
33.6
Low
30.7
34.1
33.3
Moderate
25.6
26.2
24.8
High
8.7
8.8
8.3
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0

FEMALES

Sedentary
35.4
32.2
34.4
Low
38.4
41.5
39.2
Moderate
21.7
22.4
22.0
High
4.5
3.9
4.3
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0

PERSONS

Sedentary
35.3
31.6
34.1
Low
34.5
37.8
36.3
Moderate
23.6
24.2
23.3
High
6.6
6.3
6.3
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Relates to persons aged 18 years and over during the two weeks prior to interview in the year shown.
(b) This table contains age standardised percentages, which are those which would have prevailed should the actual populations for the three reference periods all have the standard age composition. The standard population used is the estimated resident population at 30 June 2001 based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Such standardisation enables comparisons over time or across population groups.
Source: National Health Survey, Summary of Results, 2004-05 (cat. no. 4364.0).


Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over

Information from the National Health Survey relating to exercise for Indigenous Australians is only available for those living in non-remote areas. During the two weeks prior to interview in 2004-05, 48.6% of Indigenous persons aged 15 years and over living in non-remote areas participated in exercise (including low, moderate and high levels). This was considerably lower than the 66.9% of non-Indigenous Australians who participated. Indigenous participation was significantly less than non-Indigenous participation for all three levels of exercise.


When comparing the data for 2004-05 with that from 2001, any differences in non-Indigenous participation are relatively small. For Indigenous persons, however, the overall rate of participation in exercise dropped significantly from 57.9% in 2001 to 48.6% in 2004-05 (or by 16.1%). This was mainly due to a substantial fall in Indigenous persons participating in exercise at a moderate level. The participation rate for this fell by 31.6% from 23.9% in 2001 to 16.4% in 2004-05.

3.11 EXERCISE LEVEL, By Indigenous status(a)(b)(c)

2001
2004-2005
Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Exercise level
%
%
%
%

Sedentary
42.1
30.8
50.5
33.1
Low
29.2
37.7
27.4
36.2
Moderate
23.9
24.5
16.4
23.8
High
4.8
7.1
4.8
6.9
Total(d)
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Relates to persons aged 15 years and over during the two weeks prior to interview.
(b) Age standardisation techniques have been used to remove the effect of the differing age structures in the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations. The age standardised estimate of prevalence is that which would have prevailed had the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations had the standard age composition (i.e. the total estimated resident population of Australia as at 30 June 2001).
(c) Data relates to persons in non-remote areas. Non-remote areas are those that lie within the 'Major cities of Australia', 'Inner Regional Australia' and 'Outer Regional Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), 2005 (cat. no. 1216.0) Remoteness Structure.
(d) For 2004-05, includes persons for whom level of exercise was not stated.
Source: ABS data available on request, National Health Surveys 2001 and 2004-05.


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