4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Sep 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/09/2010   
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Are you concerned about how much time your child is spending in front of the television? Then have a look at the latest edition of Perspectives on Sport (cat. no. 4156.0.55.001).

Using data from the 2009 survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (cat. no. 4901.0) this edition of the Perspectives includes the article Square Eyes and Couch Potatoes, Children's Participation in Screen-based Activities which looks at the time that children spent on organised sport outside of school hours in 2009 alongside the time that they spent on screen-based activities.

Screen-based activities include watching TV, DVDs and videos, accessing the Internet and playing electronic games. Since 2003 the percentage of children aged 5 to 14 years accessing the Internet has increased from 65% to 79% in 2009 while participation in watching TV, DVDs and videos has stayed about the same (98% of children). Interestingly, the percentage of children who participated in organised sport has not decreased over the last 6 years but has remained at around 63%.

The article looks in detail at the time children spent participating in organised sport, various characteristics such as age and sex and also the number of sports played in comparison with time spent on screen-based activities and types of Internet activity.

Also featured in the latest edition of Perspectives on Sport is an article on Indigenous People's Participation in Sport and Physical Activities. Using data from the 2008 ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (cat. no. 4714.0) the article looks at both Indigenous adults' and children's participation in sport and physical activities, as well as other social and community activities.

In 2008, nearly one third (30%) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over and almost half (47%) of Indigenous children aged 4 to 14 years had participated in some type of sport and physical activity in the previous 12 months. The article also looks at characteristics of participants such as sex and age, the types of sports played and other kinds of involvement such as a coach or teacher or as a spectator.

The next edition of the Perspectives on Sport is due for release at the end of the year.