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4156.0.55.001 - Perspectives on Sport, Nov 2013  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/11/2013   
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MEDIA RELEASE
25 November 2013
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
203/2013

We're still a nation of Norms

It’s been 35 years since Norm, the beer-swilling couch potato, climbed off his couch and declared ‘Life. Be In It’ but the majority of adult Australians still do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

National activity guidelines recommend adult Australians undertake at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week over five or more separate sessions.

The 2011-12 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey found that only 43 per cent of adult Australians met these guidelines. A higher proportion of males (45 per cent) met the guidelines compared with females (41 per cent).

The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of its population (almost 50 per cent) meeting the national guidelines. The Northern Territory recorded the lowest proportion (37 per cent).

ABS Director Andrew Middleton said that along with poor nutrition, sedentary behaviour and lack of physical activity are key factors associated with obesity and being overweight.

"One in five Australian adults exercise at very low levels, or not at all".

"The level of physical activity among adult Australians varied according to age, income, education level and socio-economic status. Australians living in higher income households, were more likely to meet the national guidelines (52 per cent) compared with those living in lower income households (34 per cent)”, said Mr Middleton.

Young Australians aged 18-24 years (53 per cent) were more likely to meet the national guidelines than any other age group compared to only one in four Australians aged 75 years and older who met the national guidelines.


PROPORTION OF ADULT AUSTRALIANS WHO MEET NATIONAL PHYSICAL GUIDELINES, 2011-12

STATE/TERRITORY PERCENTAGE

Australian Capital Territory
49.5
New South Wales
44.9
Western Australia
44.6
Victoria
43.4
Tasmania
40.5
Queensland
40.1
South Australia
38.8
Northern Territory
37.2


Media note: Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.


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