4727.0.55.004 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Physical activity, 2012–13  
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GLOSSARY

The definitions used in this survey are not necessarily identical to those used for similar items in other collections. Additional information about the items is contained in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002).

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
Refers to people who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

Active transport

This refers to a method of transport that involves physical activity. For children/young people, this included walking, riding a bike, or riding a skateboard/scooter/rollerblades to get to or from places.

Adequate daily fruit intake

See Dietary Guidelines

Adequate daily vegetable intake

See Dietary Guidelines

Adult
A person aged 18 years or over.

Age standardisation

Age standardisation is a way of allowing comparisons between two or more populations with different age structures, in order to remove age as a factor when examining relationships between variables. For example, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population has a larger proportion of young people and a smaller proportion of older people than the non-Indigenous population. For this reason, where appropriate, estimates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people have both been age standardised to reflect the age structure of the same population — the total estimated resident population of Australia as at 30 June 2001. The age standardised rates are the rates that would have prevailed if both populations had this same age structure.

Bedroom screen-based equipment

Refers to TVs, computers, game consoles, as well as associated devices such as DVD/Blu-ray players, digital video recorders, and portable items such as handheld devices or laptops that are located in the child/young person’s bedroom.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. Blood pressure is measured when the heart contracts, and when it relaxes, which can be used to determine whether high, low or normal blood pressure is present.

See High blood pressure, Normal blood pressure.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. It is calculated from height and weight information, using the formula weight (kg) divided by the square of height (m). To produce a measure of the prevalence of underweight, normal weight, overweight or obesity in adults, BMI values are grouped according to the table below which allows categories to be reported against both the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines.


BODY MASS INDEX, Adults

CategoryRange

UnderweightLess than 18.50
Normal range18.50 — 24.99
Overweight25.00 — 29.99
Obese30.00 or more

Separate BMI classifications were produced for children. BMI scores were created in the same manner described above but also took into account the age and sex of the child. There are different cut-offs for BMI categories (underweight/normal combined, overweight or obese) for boys and girls. These categories differ to the categories used in the adult BMI classification. For a detailed list of the cut-offs used to calculate BMI for children see the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002) chapter on Body Mass and Physical Measurements and Appendix 4: Classification of BMI for children.

Current smoker

A respondent who reported at the time of interview that they smoked cigarettes, cigars or pipes. See also Smoker status.

Dietary guidelines

The following guidelines used in AATSIHS for adequate fruit and vegetable consumption are based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines (2013) specified by the National Health and Medical Research Council. It refers to the number of serves (excluding drinks and beverages) usually consumed each day, as reported by the respondent.

A serve of fruit is approximately 150 grams of fresh fruit or 50 grams of dried fruit. A serve of vegetables is approximately half a cup of cooked vegetables or one cup of salad vegetables – equivalent to approximately 75 grams.

The following cut-offs were used in this publication.


FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GUIDELINES

Age groupInadequate daily intake of fruitInadequate daily intake of vegetables

Children aged 4-8 yearsLess than 1 serveLess than 4 serves
Children aged 9-17 yearsLess than 2 servesLess than 5 serves
Adult males aged 18-49 yearsLess than 2 servesLess than 6 serves
Adult males aged 50 years and overLess than 2 servesLess than 5 serves
Adults females aged 18 years and overLess than 2 servesLess than 5 serves

Employed

Persons aged 15 years and over who had a job or business, or who undertook work without pay in a family business for a minimum of one hour per week. Includes persons who were absent from a job or business. See also Labour force status, Unemployed and Not in the labour force.

Ex-smoker

A respondent who reported they did not currently smoke, but had regularly smoked daily, or had smoked at least 100 cigarettes, or smoked pipes, cigars, etc at least 20 times in their lifetime. See also Smoker status.

Health risk factors

Specific lifestyle and related factors impacting on health, including:

  • tobacco smoking
  • physical activity
  • body mass
  • dietary behaviour
  • blood pressure

High blood pressure

A measured blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg (millimetres of mercury) or higher. Data on high blood pressure in this publication refer to measured blood pressure only, and do not take into account whether people who might otherwise have high blood pressure are managing their condition through the use of blood pressure medications.

Highest level of educational attainment

The highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study. It is not a measurement of the relative importance of different fields of study, but a ranking of qualifications and other educational attainments regardless of the particular area of study or the type of institution in which the study was undertaken.

Inactive

See Sufficient physical activity.

Inadequate daily fruit and vegetable intake

See Dietary Guidelines.

Insufficiently active

See Sufficient physical activity.

Labour force status

Refers to the employment situation of a person at the time of the survey. Categories are:

  • employed
  • unemployed (aged 15 years and over, not employed and actively looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey)
  • not in the labour force (all children less than 15 years, and persons 15 years and over who were neither employed or unemployed).

See also Employed, Unemployed, Not in the labour force.

Margin of Error (MoE)

Describes the distance from the precision of the estimate at a given confidence level, and is specified at a given level of confidence (95% in this publication). In this publication, Margin of error has only been provided for proportions, averages and rate ratios. For more information see the Technical Note of this publication.

Metabolic Equivalent Task (MET)

Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) or intensity values are a measure of the energy expenditure required to carry out exercise, expressed as a multiple of the resting metabolic rate (RMR). MET is defined as the ratio of metabolic rate (and therefore the rate of energy consumption) during a specific physical activity to a reference rate of metabolic rate at rest. For further information about MET scores see the Child Physical Activity (5-17 years) chapter in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002).

Moderate physical activity

This refers to physical activity undertaken by adults for fitness, recreation, or sport that was more moderate, and not already reported as vigorous physical activity. For children and remote areas, see Physical Activity.

Never smoked

A respondent who reported they had never regularly smoked daily, and had smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and/or had smoked pipes, cigars, etc less than 20 times in their lifetime. See also Smoker status.

Non-Indigenous

This term refers to the population of Australian people who did not identify themselves as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Non-remote areas

Refers to the Major Cities, Inner Regional and Outer Regional. See Remoteness for more information.

Normal blood pressure

This refers to a measured blood pressure reading of less than 140/90 mmHg (millimetres of mercury). Persons who had one of these readings at a higher level were placed in the higher blood pressure category.

Normal weight

See Body Mass Index (BMI).

Not in the labour force

Persons aged 15 years or older who are not employed or unemployed as defined, including persons who:

  • are retired
  • no longer work
  • do not intend to work in the future
  • are permanently unable to work
  • have never worked and never intend to work
  • are not looking for work.

See also Labour force status, Employed, Unemployed.

Obese

See Body Mass Index (BMI).

Overweight

See Body Mass Index (BMI).

Pedometer day threshold

To be included in the summary pedometer data items a minimum days threshold was applied. This required a respondent in non-remote areas to report at least four days of pedometer data, including at minimum one week day and one weekend day.

Pedometer recommended thresholds

As there are no current standard National recommendations for Pedometer data, results from the data collected were measured against thresholds for young people aged 5-17 years and adults found in other published sources. The following are those thresholds presented in this publication, based on calculations of average steps over days reported:


STEP THRESHOLDS

Adults (aged 18 years and over)At least 10,000 steps
Children (aged 5- 17 years)At least 12,000 steps


Pedometer data was collected for non-remote respondents only. For more information see the Pedometer Steps chapter of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002).

Physical activity

Involves any bodily movement that requires energy expenditure. For the purposes of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, in non-remote areas, the definition varies across different age groups:

  • For children aged 2-4 years, physical activity includes any activity that involves bodily movement. This was collected using the concepts of indoor and outdoor physical activity or active play.
  • For children aged 5-17 years, physical activity includes any activity that increases the respondent's heart rate and makes them get out of breath some of the time. This was collected using the concepts of active transport and moderate/vigorous physical activity (MET scores of 3 or more).
  • For persons aged 18 years and over, physical activity includes walking (for transport, fitness, recreation, or sport) and any other activity that was of moderate or vigorous intensity (see Moderate physical activity and Vigorous physical activity).

In remote areas, no intensity was applied to the physical activity undertaken, that is, any physical activity, even light activity, was included.

For more detailed information see the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour chapter of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002).

Physical activity recommendation

A recommended amount of physical activity to undertake was based on the National Physical Activity Recommendations. These vary according to age group.

In non-remote areas, the following was used as a guideline:

  • For children aged 2-4 years: at least three hours of physical activity every day, either in a single block or spread throughout the day.
  • For persons aged 5-17 years: at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.
  • For persons aged 18 years and over: 150 minutes of physical activity over five or more sessions per week.

In remote areas, the following was used as a guideline:
  • For persons aged 5-17 years: at least 60 minutes of physical activity on the day prior to interview
  • For persons aged 18 years and over: at least 30 minutes of physical activity on the day prior to interview

For more detailed information see the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour chapter of the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002).

Rate ratios

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to non-Indigenous rate ratios are calculated by dividing the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with a particular characteristic by the proportion of non-Indigenous people with the same characteristic. A rate ratio of 1.0 indicates that the prevalence of the characteristic is the same in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous populations. Rate ratios greater than 1.0 indicate higher prevalence in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and rate ratios less than 1.0 indicate higher prevalence in the non-Indigenous population. Rate ratios produced for this publication were based on proportions to two decimal places. The Margin of Error is presented as well to provide an indication of reliability but has not been used to annotate the ratio.

Ratio of averages

Ratio of averages is similar to rate ratios, but calculated from means rather than proportions. See Rate ratios for more information.

Relative Standard Error (RSE)

The standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate. In this publication, RSEs were produced for population estimates and calculations of average minutes, hours and steps. For more information see the Technical note in this publication.

Remote areas

Refers to the Remote and Very remote areas. See Remoteness for more information.

Remoteness

The Remoteness Structure for the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) 2011, has five categories based on an aggregation of geographical areas which share common characteristics of remoteness, determined in the context of Australia as a whole. These categories are:

  • Major cities of Australia
  • Inner regional Australia
  • Outer regional Australia
  • Remote Australia
  • Very remote Australia

The five categories are generally aggregated in some way for use in output. For this publication, the first three categories represent non-remote areas and the last two represent remote areas.

The 2011 Remoteness Structure has been built using the same principles as the 2006 Remoteness Structure. The primary difference is that it was built from ASGS Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) regions rather than from 2006 Census Collection Districts (CCD).

The criteria for these categories are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA). ARIA measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest Urban Centre in each of five size classes. For more information on how ARIA is defined see Information Paper: ABS Views on Remoteness, 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0) and Information Paper: Outcomes of ABS Views on Remoteness Consultation, Australia, Jun 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0.00.001). Also refer to Census Geography Paper 03/01 - ASGC Remoteness Classification - Purpose and Use, available from the ABS web site.

Screen-based activity

Use of a screen-based device such as television, computer, or electronic gaming device. For this survey, screen-based activities were collected as a sedentary behaviour, that is activities that occurred when sitting or lying down.

Screen-based recommendation

The following recommendations for the amount of time spent on screen-based activities were used in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey in non-remote areas. They are based on the National Physical Activity Recommendations

  • For children aged 2-4 years: a maximum of one hour of screen-based activity per day, that is on electronic media such as DVDs, computer and other electronic games. For this survey, only sedentary screen-based activities were collected for reporting against the recommendations.
  • For persons aged 5-17 years: a maximum of two hours screen-based activity for entertainment/non-educational purposes a day. For the purposes of this survey, homework was collected separately and excluded from the recommendation calculation, however screen-based activity totals may have included some other reported screen-based activity for educational purposes, for example, using a computer at school. Also, only sedentary screen-based activities were collected for reporting against the recommendations.
  • For persons aged 18 years and over, there are no measurable recommendations currently available.

In remote areas, no recommendations could be applied as time spent on screen-based activities were not collected.

For more information see the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour chapter in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.002).

Sedentary behaviour

Sitting or lying down for activities, does not include sleeping.

Sedentary leisure activities

Sitting or lying down for activities outside of work. This includes sitting while travelling, and sitting or lying down while watching TV, playing electronic games, using a computer or a phone, and other social or leisure activities.

Sedentary screen-based activity

Sitting or lying down to use screen-based devices such as television, computer, or electronic gaming devices.

Self-assessed health

A person's general assessment of their own health against a five point scale from excellent through to poor.

Smoker status

The extent to which a person aged 15 years and over was smoking at the time of interview, referring to regular smoking of tobacco, including manufactured (packet) cigarettes, roll-your-own cigarettes, cigars and pipes, but excluding chewing tobacco and smoking of non-tobacco products. Categorised as:

  • Current daily smoker - A respondent who reported at the time of interview that they regularly smoked one or more cigarettes, cigars or pipes per day.
  • Current smoker: other - A respondent who reported at the time of interview that they smoked cigarettes, cigars or pipes less frequently than daily.
  • Ex-smoker - A respondent who reported they did not currently smoke, but had regularly smoked daily, or had smoked at least 100 cigarettes, or smoked pipes, cigars, etc at least 20 times in their lifetime.
  • Never smoked - A respondent who reported they had never regularly smoked daily, and had smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and/or had smoked pipes, cigars, etc less than 20 times in their lifetime.

See also: Current smoker, Ex-smoker, Never smoked.

Strength and toning

Activities designed with the intention to increase muscle strength or tone, such as lifting weights, pull-ups, push-ups, or sit ups. Excludes incidental activity, such as carrying or lifting wood for a wood fire or heavy grocery bags. This is excluded from calculations of sufficient physical activity.

Sufficiently active for health

See Sufficient physical activity.

Sufficient physical activity

Provides a measure of whether the physical activity undertaken by persons aged 18 years and older is sufficient or not. In this survey, persons aged 18 years and over in non-remote areas were categorised into Inactive, Insufficiently active and Sufficiently active for health, using time and number of sessions over a week as follows. For the purpose of this measure, vigorous activity time is multiplied by a factor of two.


SUFFICIENT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MEASURE

CategoryDefinition

Inactivedid not do any physical activity, which includes walking for transport or fitness, and moderate and vigorous intensity physical activity

Insufficiently activeSome physical activity (which includes walking for transport or fitness, and moderate and vigorous activity) but not enough to reach the levels required for Sufficiently active for health

Sufficiently active for healthParticipated in at least 150 minutes minutes of physical activity (including walking for transport or fitness, and moderate and vigorous activity) over five separate sessions in a given week.

May include not known times in one or more components but where the known times meet the recommended guideline of 150 minutes from five or more sessions per week.


Underweight

See Body Mass Index (BMI).

Unemployed

Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed, were actively looking for work in the four weeks prior to the survey, and were available to start work in the week prior to the survey.

Vigorous gardening

Any gardening or heavy work around the yard that caused the respondent to breathe harder or puff and pant. This is excluded from calculations of sufficient physical activity.

Vigorous physical activity

This refers to physical activity undertaken by adults for fitness, recreation, or sport that caused a respondent to breathe harder or puff and pant. This does not include walking, moderate physical activity, household chores, or vigorous gardening/yard work. For children and remote areas, see Physical activity.

Walking for fitness, recreation or sport

Walking that was continuous for at least 10 minute intervals for the purpose of improving fitness, or as part of recreational or sporting activities.

Walking for transport

In non-remote areas, walking that was continuous for at least 10 minute intervals for the purpose of getting to or from places.

In remote areas, a minimum time threshold was not applied. Only includes walking to places.