4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/12/2010   
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21 December 2010
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Walking still Australia's favourite physical activity

Approximately two thirds (64%) of Australians aged 15 and over participated in at least one sport or physical recreational activity in the last twelve months, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This participation rate has fallen from 66% when the survey was last undertaken in 2005-2006.

Participation rates of men and women were similar, with participation rates of 65% and 63% respectively. Young people were more likely to participate in sport and physical recreation. People between the ages of 15 to 17 years had the highest levels of participation at 79%, while 48% of people aged 65 and over participated in sport or physical recreation.

Participation rates for residents in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory were the highest of all Australian states and territories, with participation rates of 77% and 72% respectively.

Thirty-six percent (36%) of Australians participated in only one sport or physical recreational activity, with 17% participating in two activities and 11% participating in three or more activities.

The three most popular sport or physical recreational activities participated in by Australians were walking for exercise (23%); aerobics, fitness and gym activities (14%); and swimming and/or diving (7%). Women reported higher participation rates in each of these activities than men. Walking for exercise was also reported to be the most popular activity when the survey was last conducted in 2005-06.

About half (51%) of Australians who participated in sport and physical recreational activities participated 105 times or more during the 12 months prior to interview.

A majority of Australians (52%) participated in activities that were not formally organised. Around one quarter (26%) of participants were involved in organised activities. More men (28%) than women (24%) participated in organised activities.

Overall, the most popular facilities used for participating in sport and physical recreational activities were parks, beaches and walking trails, with 58% of participants using these facilities.

Further information is available in Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia 2009-10 (cat. no. 4177.0).

Media note: When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.