4727.0.55.004 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Physical activity, 2012-13  
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Daily activity should be accepted as the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. The World Health Organisation recommends that physical activity should be reintegrated into the routine of everyday living1. The individual, social and economic costs of physical inactivity have led to a national focus on this issue.

    Data source

    To measure physical activity, the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey 2012-13 (AATSIHS) collected data on walking for transport, fitness, recreation or sport, and moderate and vigorous physical activity for fitness, recreation or sport undertaken in the week prior to interview.

    For sedentary behaviour, data was collected on sitting at work, sitting for transport and sitting or lying down for other social or leisure activities.

    Data for this chapter was produced from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS) component of the AATSIHS. For more details about data sources, see the About this publication section of this publication.

    Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Pedometer Recommendations

    Physical activity and Sedentary Behaviour

    In the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (AATSIHS), the following physical activity guideline was based on the National Physical Activity Recommendations

    • 150 minutes of physical activity over five or more sessions per week, classified in the survey as 'sufficiently active for health'.

    For persons aged 18 years and over, there are currently no assessable sedentary behaviour guidelines available.

    Pedometer steps
    Pedometer data was collected as an objective measure to quantify the volume of physical activity undertaken. One in three (33%) adult respondents agreed and provided sufficient data to meet a four day (including one week day and one weekend day) reporting threshold requirement.

    For adults, 10,000 steps is used by researchers worldwide as a reasonable estimate of daily activity by healthy adults2.

    While 3% of participants indicated that they had removed their pedometer for sport or swimming, step counts have not been imputed to account for this activity.

    See the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2012-13 (cat no.4727.0.55.002) for further information.


1 WHO (World Health Organization), 2002, A physically active life through everyday transport with a special focus on children and older people and examples and approaches from Europe, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Geneva <http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/87572/E75662.pdf>

2 Tudor-Locke C, Bassett DR Jr. 2004. ‘How many steps/day are enough? Preliminary pedometer indices for public health’. Sports Medicine, 34(1), 1-8 <http://www.health.utah.edu/peak/docs/Tudor%20Locke%20Paper.pdf>