More Australians are getting active
2010-08-31New research of Australia shows that almost 50% of Australians aged over 15 participated in regular physical activity (at least 3 times a week) in 2009. The 2009 Exercise, Recreation and Sport Survey (ERASS) Annual Report reveals that an estimated 8.2 million people are involved in regular physical activity and that since 2001 regular participation has jumped 11 percentage points, from 37% of the population aged over 15 in 2001 to 48% in 2009'. The survey also confirms that Australians are involved in a wide range of exercise options. Around 40% of Australians aged 15 years and over participated at least three times per week in non-organised physical activity, 12.3% participated in organised physical activity and 6.4% in club-based physical activity. In May the Government released Australian Sport: Pathway to Success, which outlines the new direction for Australian sport. This includes $195.2 million in new funding - the biggest funding injection to sport in our nation's history.A key plank of this new direction is the first Sport and Education Strategy to bring a new focus on the delivery of quality sport and physical education in schools to boost the number of our children participating in sport. National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) will also be required to have an increased focus on participation outcomes as part of their funding agreements with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and the Government will boost funding opportunities for NSOs to grow grassroots participation through their community clubs. The 2009 ERASS findings showed: An estimated 8.2 million Australians (aged 15 years and over) were active at least three times a week, which represented 48% of the population. Of these an estimated 4.8 million persons aged 15 years or over (28% of the population) were active at least five times per week. Of those Australians who participate in regular physical activity, a greater proportion participated in non-organised activities compared with organised activities, 39% and 12% respectively. In 2009, as with previous years, women were more likely than men to be regular participants (51% and 45%, respectively) except for those aged 15 to 24 year olds where male participation was higher.Men were more likely to be active for longer periods per session. Walking, aerobics, swimming, cycling and running remain the top 5 non-organised activities for Australians. The top 10 organised physical activities in 2009, in terms of total participation rate, were aerobics / fitness, outdoor football (soccer), netball, golf, tennis, basketball, Australian Rules football, outdoor cricket, lawn bowls and touch football.