4156.0.55.001 - Perspectives on Sport, June 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013   
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7 June 2013
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
Kids on the internet play less sport

Children who spend extended periods on the Internet are much less likely to participate in sporting activities, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Assistant Director of Recreation Statistics Paul Pamment said the biggest drop in sports participation is evident in children who spend more than 20 hours a week on screen based activities.

“Our statistics show that just 52 per cent of children who spend 20 or more hours a week online while at home participate in organised sport,” Mr Pamment said.

“In contrast, 70 per cent of kids who spend 3-4 hours per week accessing the Internet at home took part in at least one organised sport outside of school hours in the 12 month period prior to survey.”

A similar pattern was found among children watching TV, DVDs or videos.

"We found that 64 per cent of children who spent 20 hours or more watching TV in the last two school weeks prior to the survey period participated in organised sport and dancing," he said.

"This compares to 72 per cent of children who spent 3-4 hours watching TV."

Further information is available in Perspectives on Sport (cat. no. 4156.0.55.001), available for free download from www.abs.gov.au.

Media note: Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.