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4156.0 - Sport and Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia , 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 3.1 Participation - Introduction >> Chapter 3.5 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) for Australians aged 18 years and over in 1989-90, 1995 and 2001. These data relate to participation in exercise in the two weeks prior to interview. Participation in exercise does not provide an indication of the number of Australians who participated in 'sufficient' levels of exercise to benefit their health. The data relating to participation in exercise include all persons who participated in low, moderate or high levels of exercise. The majority of persons classified as sedentary undertook no exercise. However, this category also includes a small number of persons who had done some exercise but so little as to still be considered sedentary (less than 2% of the population were in this situation).


According to the NHS, between 1989-90 and 2001, the percentage of persons aged 18 years and over participating in exercise increased from 62.5% to 68.5%. Most of this increase was attributable to more people participating in low level exercise. Participation in low level exercise increased from 33.2% to 37.9%. There was little change in the percentage of persons participating in exercise at moderate or high levels.


In 2001, 65.0% of males and 73.6% of females were classified as having a sedentary or low exercise level. Only 8.8% of males and 3.9% of females were classified as having a high level of exercise.

3.9 EXERCISE LEVEL(a)(b), By sex - 1989-90, 1995 and 2001

1989-90
1995
2001
Exercise level
%
%
%

MALES

Sedentary
37.2
35.0
30.9
Low
29.4
31.3
34.1
Moderate
25.0
25.9
26.1
High
8.5
7.9
8.8
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0

FEMALES

Sedentary
37.5
35.2
32.0
Low
37.0
38.9
41.6
Moderate
21.8
22.0
22.5
High
3.7
3.9
3.9
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0

PERSONS

Sedentary
37.5
35.2
31.5
Low
33.2
35.1
37.9
Moderate
23.2
23.8
24.2
High
6.1
5.9
6.4
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 population have the standard age composition. The standard population used is the population at 30 June 2001 based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, adjusted for the scope of the survey. Such standardisation enables comparisons over time or across population groups.
Source: National Health Survey, Summary of Results, 2001 (cat. no. 4364.0).


Indigenous adults aged 18 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 2001, 57% of Indigenous adults living in non-remote areas participated in exercise (including low, moderate and high levels of exercise), and this was considerably lower than the 70% of all Australians who participated in exercise. The main difference in participation related to low levels of exercise, where 39% of all Australians had undertaken low levels of exercise, compared to 30% of the Indigenous population in non-remote areas. There was no difference in the proportion who participated in moderate levels of exercise, and the proportions who participated in high levels of exercise were also very similar. However, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about the results for participation in high levels of exercise due to the unreliability of that estimate for the Indigenous population.

3.10 EXERCISE LEVEL, By Indigenous status(a)(b)(c) - 2001

Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Exercise level
%
%

Sedentary
43
30
Low
30
39
Moderate
24
24
High
*4
6
Total
100
100

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Relates to persons aged 18 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 Australian population at 30 June 2001 based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, adjusted for the scope of the survey).
(c) Data relates to persons in non-remote areas. Non-remote areas are those that lie within the 'Major cities of Australia', the 'Inner Regional Australia' and the 'Outer Regional Australia' categories of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2001, cat. no. 1216.0) Remoteness Structure.
Source: National Health Survey: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Results, Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 4715.0).


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