4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/03/2007   
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Information from an ABS survey of participation in sports and physical recreation was released recently in Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2005–06 (cat. no. 4177.0).

The survey found that almost two-thirds (66%) of people aged 15 years and over participated in sports or recreational physical activities at least once in the previous 12 months. Under a third (29%) participated on a regular basis of twice a week or more. More females (2.6 million or 32%) than males (2.1 million or 27%) reported participating at least twice weekly.

The most popular activities undertaken were

  • walking for exercise (4.0 million or 25%)
  • aerobics (2.0 million or 13%)
  • swimming (1.4 million or 9%)
  • cycling (1.0 million or 6%).

For 38% of people, their participation was in non-organised activities only, while 16% participated in both non-organised and organised activities, and 12% participated only in organised activities.

The survey also asked about the reasons for participating. More than half (54%) of the people who participated 13 times or more indicated that health/fitness was the main reason, while a further 22% indicated that it was enjoyment.

Insufficient time due to work/study was the main reason for not participating more frequently which was most commonly given (22%) by persons who participated 12 times of less. A further 19% indicated a lack of interest as their main reason.