4177.0 - Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005-06  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/02/2007   
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February 14, 2007
Embargoed 11.30am (AEDT)

One in three Australians regularly play sport or exercise: ABS

Around one in three Australians (29%) play sport or exercise twice a week or more, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The most popular sport or physical recreation activities during 2005-06 were walking (25%), aerobics (13%), swimming (9%) and cycling (6%).

Nearly half of us - some 10 million people - exercise or play sport at least once a month, with more than half (54%) reporting 'health and fitness' as their main reason for exercising. This was followed by enjoyment (22%), well-being (7%) and social or family reasons (7%).

'Insufficient time due to work or study' was the most common reason (22%) for not exercising or exercising infrequently. Another common reason given was 'insufficient time due to family reasons', mentioned by 14% of females and 5% of males.

Males were more likely to report they had insufficient time to exercise due to work (27%), while females were more likely to report they were not interested in exercising (19%).

Almost two-thirds (66%) of males and females participated in sports and physical recreation activities least once in the survey period. More females (32%) than males (27%) were involved in at least twice-weekly sport or exercise.

The ACT had the highest participation rate (80%), followed by Western Australia (71%), and Queensland (67%).

Further details are in Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia (cat. no. 4177.0).