4727.0.55.004 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Physical activity, 2012–13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/12/2014  First Issue
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MEDIA RELEASE

5 December 2014
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
172/2014

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids get active

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are spending more time on physical activity than non-Indigenous children, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

"Overall, in 2012-13, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5 to 17 spent around two hours per day on physical activity," said Wendy Davis from the ABS, " which is 25 minutes more than non-Indigenous children."

"This means that almost half are meeting the physical activity recommendations - an hour's physical activity a day - compared to only one-third of non-Indigenous children.

"The most common activity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children was active play or children’s games, like running around, playing on playground equipment and skipping.

"This was followed by swimming and bike-riding.

"But the amount of activity decreases with age; for older teens - 15 to 17 - it dropped to an hour and twenty minutes per day, and for 18 to 24 year olds it was only 50 minutes.

"By the time people hit 55, over one-third did no physical activity at all in the week before interview.

"For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults, the most common form of activity was walking for transport, contributing over half the total physical activity time.

"When it came to screen time - computers, TV, electronic games - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5 to 17 were pretty consistent with non-Indigenous children, spending just over two and a half hours a day on their various devices.

"Interestingly, both groups of children spent only a small part of this screen time on homework - three minutes and eight minutes respectively," said Ms Davis.

Further details can be found in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Physical Activity, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.004) available for free download from the ABS website - www.abs.gov.au.

Media notes:
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.
  • Statistics in this release do not include data for remote or very remote regions of Australia.