AIHW report shows Australians not getting enough physical activity

Amanda Lyons

23/07/2018 3:31:02 PM

Australians are still not active enough for optimal health, a new report has found.

Australians across all life-stages are not getting enough exercise.
Australians across all life-stages are not getting enough exercise.

It is well known that a lack of physical activity is a leading risk factor for mortality and a large proportion of the preventable disease burden, across the globe and within Australia.
That means there is cause for concern in the latest figures released from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) with few Australians of all ages meeting national guidelines for physical activity – although there are also some surprises within the data.
Only 44% of Australian adults aged 18 and over meet the recommended activity levels suggested in Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.
The most commonly-cited reasons by adults under 64 years of age for lack of physical activity were ‘not enough time’ or ‘too many other commitments’.
As people grew older, however, ‘poor health’ or ‘injury’ became a more common issue, increasing from 18% among people aged 35–44 to almost half of people aged 65 or over.
Physical activity levels among adults were also impacted by socioeconomic status, with Australians in the highest socioeconomic group more likely to meet the physical activity guidelines than those in the lowest: in the age group 18–64, 60% of Australians in a high socioeconomic group met the physical activity guideline, compared to 37% in the lowest.
However, this pattern did not apply to children aged between 2–17 – and only 30% of children overall met the physical activity guidelines.
But these figures also contain a more detailed story: when broken down further, they show a precipitous decline of physical activity as children grew older: at 2–5 years old, 61% of children meet the guideline, but by the time they reach the age group of 5–12 years old, this number decreased to 26% – and among children aged 13–17, the guideline is only met by a very low 7.9%.
Figures on recommended maximum sedentary screen time levels provide an interesting corollary to physical activity levels, with only 25% of children aged 2–5, 35% of children aged 5–12 and 20% of children aged 13–17 staying under the recommended limit.
And while levels of physical activity do not differ greatly between adolescent boys and girls, boys in this age group are more likely than girls to spend more time than recommended in front of a screen.
However, there is one specific group among Australian children that is more likely to meet the physical activity guidelines, and that is Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, 60% of whom are meeting the guidelines at ages 5–12 compared to 45% of non-Indigenous children. In the age group 13–17, 33% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are meeting the guidelines compared with 19% of non-Indigenous children.

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Dr. Gnanasegaran Xavier   16/12/2018 11:28:25 PM

You have enough places to exercise,here in Penang whatever place is available a condomonium comes up.Those exercising are robbed,snatch thefts are rampant.We are no.1 in obesity and more than 20% are diabetics.I teach cat stretch to them and I do yoga myself.Our food outlets are 24 hours and cheap,your food outlets close by 600pm.May be you all are not doing your job.How long do you all spend on talking about exercise to your patients.