Preventive Health, Sport and Physical Activity

Preventive Health, Sport and Physical Activity         
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Professor Tom Cochrane, Centre for Research & Action in Public Health, University of Canberra (February 2016)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 18 July 2019
Please refer to the Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer page for
more information concerning this content.

Community Sport Coaching
Thinkstock, 92287733


Participation in physical activity, particularly among children, supports a number of life-long benefits, including: (1) development of fundamental motor skills, (2) improvement of current health and fitness, (3) contribution to long-term health and the prevention of chronic disease, and (4) promotion of more inclusive and engaged communities through social interaction.

Regular physical activity, including organised sport and active recreational pursuits, has many known benefits. Increasing the level of physical activity among the population is one of three key elements (along with improved nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices) in the overall preventive health strategy adopted by governments. Improved population health produces immediate and long-term social and economic benefits. 

Key Messages 


Regular participation in sport and physical activity offers immediate and long-term personal health (i.e. physical and mental) benefits.


Population-wide participation in sport and other forms of physical activity has been shown to reduce risk factors associated with some non-communicable diseases and other health problems, leading to population health benefits.


Physical inactivity contributes approx. AUD$805m to Australia's annual disease burden. If all Australians did an extra 30mins of brisk exercise at least 5x per week (including sport) this could be reduced by 26% (AUD$209.3m).


Awareness that regular physical activity, that may include sport participation, makes a positive contribution to health and personal wellbeing, is an important public health message.

Clearinghouse members

Please login to unlock this topic

Please contact us if you are experiencing any difficulty accessing the Clearinghouse information resources that you require.
If you are not a member of the Clearinghouse for Sport please join now

Related Topics


Is this information complete? 

The Clearinghouse for Sport is a sector-wide knowledge sharing initiative, and as such your contributions are encouraged and appreciated. If you would like to suggest a resource, submit a publication, or provide feedback on this topic, please contact us.
Alternatively, if you would like to be kept up to date with research and information published about this topic, please request a research profile setup.