Sport and Physical Activity Participation

Sport and Physical Activity Participation   
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
Last updated  Last updated: 16 May 2017
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Physical Literacy and Sport
Australian Sports Commission


There is now compelling evidence that increased levels of physical activity can bring wide-ranging health benefits that impact upon the population. These benefits can extend beyond physical health to include other benefits, such as mental health, personal wellbeing, and social cohesion. Sport can also make an important contribution to the amount of regular physical activity an individual engages in.

More information can be found in the Clearinghouse for Sport portfolio, Preventive Health, Sport and Physical Activity

Key Messages 


Participation statistics, particularly trends over time, provide valuable information about the changing nature of sport - who participates and why.


Many factors influence sport participation in either a positive or negative way.


The potential population health outcomes of increased participation in sport and physical activity have dominated public policy; but many other personal and social outcomes resulting from sport participation are gaining credibility.


Developmentally appropriate physical activity/sport (at all ages) is based upon three broad outcomes – fun, fitness, and friendship (i.e. social interaction).

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