Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Latest AusPlay data shows further increase in adult participation in sport and physical activity

Latest AusPlay data shows further increase in adult participation in sport and physical activity
May 7, 2020

More than 82% of adult Australians participated in sport and physical activity at least once a week in 2019 according to the latest AusPlay figures from Sport Australia.

Released by Sport Australia on 30th April with no accompanying statement, the figures show an ongoing rise in sport and physical activity with 63.6% of Australians reporting they are active at least three times a week - compared with 63% in 2018 and 47.7% in 2019 - and 90.4% of Australians reporting they exercise 'at least once per year'.

While reporting on Australians participating in sport and physical activity at least once a year would appear to be of little value, the figures also show that female activity declined in 2019, with 65.4% reporting that they were active at least three times a week, compared with 66.1% in both 2017 and 2018.

Men's activity increased in 2019, to 61.8% participating in sport and physical activity at least three times a week, compared with 59.8% in 2018.

Breaking down participation across Australia, the ACT once again reported the highest participation, while Tasmania recorded the most improvement.

The AusPlay figures also advised that while sport related participation had remained stagnant, the years from 2001 to 2019 had seen a 20% rise in non-sport physical activity.

However, while reporting on rising activity levels, the study revealed that in terms of meeting Australia's Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, only 34.3% of the population achieve this.

As for sports and activities undertaken by Australians, football, AFL, golf, netball and tennis were the most popular clubs sports while recreational walking, fitness/gym activities, bush walking, yoga and Pilates were the most popular 'non-sport' physical activities.

With the AusPlay data covering the last calendar year (January to December 2019), before Coronavirus arrived in Australia, there are fears that current participation levels have declined dramatically during lockdown.

As reported last month by The Sunday Age, Sport Australia acting Chief Executive Rob Dalton says sport needs to “get people moving” after months in lockdown, advising “the biggest issue is going to be re-engagement.

"We are creatures of habit. We are concerned that the longer this goes, we are going to lose a cohort of people who won’t come back to sport and will find something else to fill the void.

“We are already 194 out of 197 on the global obesity index. There isn’t a lot of margin for error.”

Earlier this week, Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition  commenced a national survey to gauge the short and longer term impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the health and activity of children.

Click here to visit the AusPlay website.

Main image: Youth participation at the Australian Schools Cross Country Championships. Tables courtesy of AusPlay.

Related Articles

6th May 2020 - Coronavirus downturn sees sports in country towns struggle

6th May 2020 - YMCA warns against long-term impacts of COVID-19 on youth

5th May 2020 - Deakin University launches survey to assess how Australians are coping without sport

4th May 2020 - Australians’ physical activity declines during Coronavirus lockdown

1st May 2020 - National Cabinet sets out measures for resumption of sport and recreation activities across Australia

1st May 2020 - Australians undecided about whether sports competitions should return in 2020

30th April 2020 - Former Minister Bridget McKenzie defends role in sports grant allocations

24th April 2020 - Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces framework for return of sport

4th March 2020 - Sport Australia admits failing to tell Senate about second former Minister’s email

29th February 2020 - Former Sport Australia Chief Executive ‘surprised’ to see colour-coded grants spreadsheet

14th February 2020 - Sport Australia slammed for extravagant spending on offices and consultants

5th February 2020 - Sport Australia confirm Robert Dalton as acting Chief Executive

4th February 2020 - Kate Palmer departs Chief Executive role at Sport Australia

24th January 2020 - Executive who worked on Infrastructure Grant Program no longer at Sport Australia

23rd December 2019 - Belgravia Leisure supports Sport Australia’s ‘Find Your 30’ campaign

10th December 2019 - Fitness Australia names Sport Australia executive and Glen Eira Leisure manager as appointed Directors

30th November 2019 - AIS and Sport Australia look to increase leadership depth and diversity in sport

15th November 2019 - AusPlay survey shows football remains the top participation sport in NSW

12th November 2019 - Sport Australia announces strengthening of National High Performance Sports Strategy

30th October 2019 - AusPlay survey advises that 81% of Australian adults participate in sport at least once a week

29th October 2019 - Sport Australia and Parks and Leisure Australia agree partnership

16th October 2019 - Fitness Australia endorses Sport Australia’s Position Statement on Physical Literacy

15th October 2019 - Sport Australia releases Position Statement on Physical Literacy

5th August 2019 - Sport Australia releases Corporate Plan to guide increases in participation in sport and physical activity

23rd July 2019 - Cricket Australia exposed for exaggerating participation figures

3rd May 2019 - AusPlay survey shows gymnastics as the fastest growing sport in Victoria

30th April 2019 - Fitness Australia Chief Executive queries ‘self-reported participation rates’ in Ausplay Report

30th April 2019 - Latest Ausplay survey shows gradual increase in physical activity

13th April 2019 - Sport Australia Chief Executive backs Fitness Australia’s new physically activity goals

4th April 2019 - Sport Australia’s John Wylie welcomes Federal budget funding boost

4th April 2019 - New activity guidelines backed by record recreation and sport investment in Federal budget

20th July 2018 - Report shows few Australians of all ages meeting physical activity guidelines

22nd November 2017 - AusPlay data shows increasingly active women chose fitness activities ahead of organised sport

17th November 2017 - New AusPlay figures show football leads sport participation rates in Australia

8th December 2016 - Landmark study finds sport struggling to keep youth engaged

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…

read more

Access / Fitness / Recreation / Security


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues



Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia  and Australia, Technogym exports its…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport



About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology


Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business