Latest reports

Physical activity during pregnancy 2011–12 

Currently, little is known about how much, and what types of, physical activity pregnant women undertake in Australia. This short report investigates the types and amount of physical activity undertaken by women during pregnancy, with comparisons made between pregnant and non-pregnant women of the same age, and against Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for adults.

Physical activity across the life stages 

This report presents information on the physical activity and sedentary participation rate of Australians across the life stages, reported against Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. According to the most recent available data, 30% of children aged 2–17 and 44% of adults aged 18 and over met the physical activity guidelines. Most children exceeded the recommended amount of sedentary screen-based activity time, while the amount of time spent sitting at leisure increased in adults as aged increased.

Health risk factors in 2014–15 

This release provides information from 2014–15 on a selection of health risk factors including risky alcohol consumption, insufficient physical activity and high blood pressure. Information is presented by Primary Health Network (PHN) areas across Australia.

Supplementary data tables and interactive data visualisations were updated in June 2018 to include age-standardised rates for comparative purposes.

This report was first published on the MyHealthyCommunities website.

Impact of physical inactivity as a risk factor for chronic conditions: Australian Burden of Disease  

This report details the impact of physical inactivity on disease burden in the Australian population. Results from this study suggest that prevention and intervention efforts may best be focused on sustained population-level increases in physical activity, by as little as 15 minutes each day, to avoid associated disease burden. It also highlights that health inequalities exist, with lower socioeconomic groups experiencing larger rates of disease burden due to physical inactivity.

Hospital care for Australian sports injury 2012–13 

This report focuses on acute care services provided by hospitals for sports injuries treated in Australian hospitals in 2012–13. Cases of sports injury are examined in terms of the body region injured. Of the selected injury types, Head injury was the most common, accounting for 16% of all hospitalised sport related cases. Injury to the knee accounted for 12% of hospitalised sports injury. 

Risk factors to health 

Health risk factors are attributes, characteristics or exposures that increase the likelihood of a person developing a disease or health disorder. Behavioural risk factors are those that individuals have the most ability to modify. Biomedical risk factors are bodily states that are often influenced by behavioural risk factors.

Supporting healthy communities through sports and recreation programs 

Healthy communities are communities in which people have the physical and mental health and wellbeing needed to conduct their daily lives. The purpose of this paper is to review the available evidence of a range of sports and recreation programs in relation to their effects on supporting and building healthy communities. There is some evidence in the form of critical descriptions of programs and systematic reviews on the benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from participation in sport and recreational programs. These include some improvements in school retention, attitudes towards learning, social and cognitive skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing; increased social inclusion and cohesion; increased validation of and connection to culture; and some evidence of crime reduction.

Risk factor trends: age patterns in key health risk factors over time 

This report presents comparisons over time for different age groups for key health risk factors, including overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. The good news is that smoking rates have declined, particularly among younger people. However, overweight/obesity rates have increased for virtually all age groups, especially females aged 12 to 44.

Healthy lifestyle programs for physical activity and nutrition 

This paper describes the burden of lifestyle-related chronic diseases affecting Indigenous Australians. It assesses the evidence regarding the effectiveness of physical activity and nutrition programs and identifies strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective. It also reviews strategies that have the potential to be effective, based on their short-term effect or their effectiveness in non-Indigenous populations.

Hospitalised football injuries, 2004-05 

This briefing provides an overview of football-related hospitalisations during 2004-05. Injuries sustained while playing football accounted for 31% (n=14,147) of all sports and leisure-related hospitalisations during this period. Australian football accounted for 30%, soccer for 24%, and rugby for 21% of all football-related hospitalisations. Over 90% of those hospitalised were aged 34 years or younger while 93% were males. Knee, lower leg and head were the most common regions injured, accounting for 48% of all hospitalisations. Fractures were by far the most common type of injury, accounting for 56% of all hospital admissions. The mean number of bed days for all hospitalisations due to football-related injury was 1.85 days. The estimated direct cost of football-related hospitalisations was close to $44 million.

Hospitalised basketball and netball injuries 

Exercise is important for minimising risk of conditions including cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, mental health disorders and premature death. It is not uncommon for participants to be injured but most injuries are not severe. A study of sport- and exercise-related injury in the Latrobe Valley found one hospital admission for every 10 emergency admissions and 12 general practiceconsultations. Hospitalised injuries tend to be more severe and costly than other injuries. Hence, while hospitalised sports injuries are small as a proportion of all sport injuries, they warrant attention.

Hospitalised sports injury, Australia 2002-03 

It is common for persons participating in sport to be injured. Only a minority of these injuries require hospitalisation. However, hospitalised injuries are usually more severe and costly than others. This report describes hospitalised sports injury in 2002-2003, in Australia. Fourteen sports groupings are reviewed in detail, including football, water sports, cycling and roller sports. Topics covered for these groupings include body region most frequently injured, type of injury and mechanism of injury, age and sex. It is of relevance to both health personnel and sporting bodies.

The Active Australia Survey: a guide and manual for implementation, analysis and reporting 

The Active Australia Survey is designed to measure participation in leisure-time physical activity and to assess knowledge of current public health measures about the health benefits of physical activity. It offers a short and reliable set of questions that can be easily implemented via computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) techniques or in face-to-face interviews.This manual is designed to provide an overview of the survey. It includes a copy of the survey, an implementation guide with instructions for interviewers, a guide to the measures that can be derived from the survey data, information on how these measures are calculated and examples of how they are usually reported. It also provides background information on the development of the survey and an example of CATI coding.

Physical activity patterns of Australian adults 

Reports the results of the National Physical Activity Survey conducted in November 1999. This survey was a follow-up to the 1997 Active Australia National Physical Activity Survey. The report presents information on current physical activity patterns among adult Australians as well as trend information essential to assess the impact of the Active Australia campaign. It is a valuable resource for researchers and those interested in public health policy and health promotion.