4901.0 - Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/10/2012   
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Since 2006, the proportion of children reading for pleasure decreased from 75% to 71%. The proportion of children watching TV, DVDs or videos fell slightly from 2009 (97% to 96%), while the proportion of children participating in other screen-based activities (including the use of a computer, the internet and games consoles) rose from 83% in 2009 to 85% in 2012. Children's participation in more active recreational activities increased since 2009, with the proportion of children skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter rising from 49% to 54%, and the proportion of children bike riding increasing from 60% to 64%. (Table 1)

In the 12 months to April 2012, children spent more time watching TV, DVDs or videos than any of the other selected recreational activities. On average, children spent 15 hours watching TV, DVDs or videos outside of school hours in the last school fortnight, followed by 10 hours on other screen-based activities. Children spent the least amount of time skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter in the two school weeks prior to interview (an average of 4 hours) and bike riding (5 hours). (Table 17)

A higher proportion of males were involved in skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter (60%) and bike riding (70%) than females (47% and 57% respectively), while more females were involved in recreational art and craft (54%) and reading for pleasure (77%) than males (33% and 65% respectively). (Table 16)