Participation in Physical Activity
The proportion of ACT young people who are reported as participating in physical activity.
What do we measure?
The proportion of ACT:
- children (5-15 years) who do 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day (parent/carer-reported)
- secondary students (12-17 years) who participate in physical activity (self-reported)
- parents who knew the recommended amount of physical activity for children (5-15 years) per day (parent/carer-reported)
- children (5-15 years) who usually walk or cycle to school (parent/carer-reported).
Why is this important?
The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children and adolescents do at least 60 minutes of moderate (e.g. bike riding, skateboarding and quick walking) to vigorous (e.g. running, ball games) physical activity every day for healthy growth and wellbeing. Children who are sedentary can become overweight or obese and this can adversely affect their health in later life.14
Kids at Play Active Play (KAPAP) is a free capacity-building program that offers training for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services in the ACT. The KAPAP training has been designed to help early childhood educators and health professionals feel confident to promote active play and teach fundamental movement skills to children aged 3-5 years in ECEC services. This training includes practical 'hands on' skills sessions to assist educators to apply the learnings in their ECEC setting.
The Ride or Walk to School program aims to increase the use of active travel among primary school students in the ACT. Participating schools receive advice and support from a dedicated Program Manager, as well as access to free teacher training in the curriculum-aligned cycling education program 'Safe Cycle'; loan bikes and helmets to run Safe Cycle with Year 5 and 6 students; basic bike maintenance classes for students; road safety education; and resources to promote active travel events throughout the year.
Results from the 2007-16 ACT General Health Survey (ACTGHS) show that 21.6 per cent of ACT children aged 5-15 years were meeting the National Physical Activity Guidelines by doing 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day. Boys (24.2%) were more likely to meet these guidelines than girls (19.1%).
Results from the 2005-14 Australian Secondary Students Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSAD) show that 13.5 per cent of ACT children aged 12-17 years were meeting the National Physical Activity Guidelines by doing 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day (Figure 15). Boys (16.1%) were more likely to meet these guidelines than girls (10.7%).
How is the ACT progressing?
Source: Australian Secondary Students Alcohol and Drug Survey (ASSAD), 2005-14 Findings from the 2015-16 ACT General Health Survey indicate that more than half (51.8%) of ACT parents correctly responded that the recommended amount of physical activity for children aged five to 15 years is at least 60 minutes per day.
Source: ACT General Health Survey (ACTGHS), 2007-16
In 2016, more than one third of children (38.7%) in this age group usually cycled or walked to school (Figure 16).
Note The proportion of ACT secondary students (12-17 years) who participate in physical activity is a new indicator for this report.
14 Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Australia’s physical activity recommendations for 5–12 year olds and Australia’s physical activity recommendations for 12–18 year olds.