4364.0.55.001 - National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/12/2015   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product



EXERCISE

The benefits of regular physical activity include reductions in the risk of health conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer, depression and some injuries. In addition, physical activity is an important element for achieving and maintaining a healthy body mass which is of particular focus given the high rates of overweight and obesity in Australia and the role of this risk factor in chronic disease.

    Definitions

    Types of exercise covered in the 2014-15 National Health Survey were walking undertaken for transport, fitness, recreation or sport, and moderate and vigorous exercise. Moderate exercise consists of activity that causes a moderate increase in heart rate or breathing, while vigorous exercise causes a large increase in a person's heart rate or breathing.

    For adults aged 18-64 years, physical activity guidelines recommend 150-300 minutes of moderate or 75-150 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both, per week. The guidelines also recommend that adults aged 18-64 years do muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days of each week[1].

    For adults aged 65 years and over, guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days[1].

Adults aged 18-64 years

In 2014-15, 55.5% of 18-64 year olds participated in sufficient physical activity in the last week (more than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or more than 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both, including walking). Nearly one in three (29.7%) 18-64 year olds were insufficiently active (less than 150 minutes in the last week) while 14.8% were inactive (no exercise in the last week). These were similar to proportions in 2011-12 (54.5%, 29.4% and 16.0% respectively).

Graph Image for Persons aged 18-64 years - Whether sufficiently active(a), 2011-12 and 2014-15

Footnote(s): (a) Based on a total of 150 minutes or more of exercise in last week - exercise includes that undertaken for fitness, recreation, sport and walking for transport.

Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15



More men than women aged 18-64 years participated in sufficient physical activity in the last week (57.7% compared with 53.3%). Similar proportions of men and women were inactive in 2014-15 (15.2% and 14.4% respectively).

Of men aged 18-64 years, 57.7% participated in sufficient physical activity in the last week, compared with 53.3% of women of the same age. Similar proportions of men and women were inactive in 2014-15 (15.2% and 14.4% respectively).

Graph Image for Persons aged 18 years and over - Proportion who met or exceeded 150 minutes of exercise(a) by age, 2011-12 and 2014-15

Footnote(s): (a) Total duration in minutes exercise in last week including walking for fitness, recreation or sport and walking for transport

Source(s): National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15



In 2014-15, 24.1% of 18-64 year olds did strength or toning activities on two or more days in the last week. A higher proportion of men than women did two or more days of strength and toning activities (25.9% compared with 22.3%).

Adults aged 65 years and over

In 2014-15, one in four (24.9%) adults aged 65 years and over did at least 30 minutes of exercise on five or more days in the last week, while almost half (44.7%) had no days in which they exercised for more than 30 minutes. These were similar to proportions in 2011-12 (23.8% and 45.8% respectively).

Similar proportions of men and women aged 65 years and over did at least 30 minutes of exercise on five or more days in the last week (26.5% of men and 23.2% of women).

ENDNOTES

1 Department of Health, 10 July 2014, The Department of Health: Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines <http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines>; last accessed 03/12/2015.