Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Health risk factors >> Physical activity and sedentary behaviour

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SEDENTARY BEHAVIOUR

In 2011-12, the collection of physical activity and sedentary behaviour data in the Australian Health Survey was via four separate question modules:

  • Exercise (NHS)
  • Adult physical activity (NNPAS)
  • Child 5-17 years physical activity (NNPAS)
  • Child 2-4 years physical activity (NNPAS).

Within these modules the following domains were collected:
  • Physical activity (15 years and over in NHS, 2 years and over in NNPAS)
  • Sedentary behaviour (15 years and over in NHS, 2 years and over in NNPAS)
  • Household rules and screen-based equipment (2-17 years in NNPAS)
  • Sleep (5 years and over in NNPAS).

Physical Activity Guidelines

Data on physical activity and sedentary behaviour have been collected to provide national estimates in order to report against National Physical Activity Recommendations and Guidelines for particular age groups.

The current National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australian adults (18 years and over) recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days. This has been interpreted from the following three measures considered to correlate with good health outcomes:
  • whether met 150 minutes of physical activity per week
  • whether met 150 minutes of physical activity over 5 or more sessions per week
  • whether met 30 minutes of physical activity on 5 days or more days per week.

There are currently no sedentary behaviour recommendations for adults, although data has been collected in this area in order to inform analysis of sedentary behaviour and other lifestyle factors.

The current National Physical Activity Recommendations for 5-12 year olds and the National Physical Activity Recommendations for 12-18 year olds recommend:
  • at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day
  • a maximum of two hours screen-based activity for entertainment/non-educational purposes a day.

The current National Physical Activity Recommendations for 0-5 year olds recommend:
  • at least three hours of physical activity every day, either in a single block or spread throughout the day
  • a maximum of one hour of screen-based activity per day - that is, electronic media such as DVDs, computer and other electronic games.

The National Physical Activity Recommendations include age overlaps such that 5, 12, and 18 year olds are included in two sets of recommendations and/or guidelines. There is no impact on the 12 year olds as the recommendations are the same for both groups they fall into, but there are two recommendations for 5 and 18 year olds. For the purposes of this survey, 5 and 18 year olds have been included in the upper recommendation/guideline they fall into - that is, the split becomes: 2-4 years; 5-17 years; and 18 years and over.

Household rules and screen-based equipment

In addition to the recommendations, research on child participation in physical activity or levels of sedentary behaviour has been looking at associations between the environment in which the child lives and levels of activity. In the NNPAS, details regarding access to screen-based equipment in a young person’s bedroom, in addition to household rules and practices regarding the use of screen-based equipment, have been collected.

The benefits of having a sufficient amount of sleep for a person’s wellbeing have been well documented. In the NNPAS, details regarding the time slept on the night prior to the interview have been collected to provide a snapshot of sleep data.


This section contains the following subsection :
        Physical activity
        Sedentary behaviour
        Household rules and screen-based equipment
        Sleep

Previous PageNext Page

Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.