Recent trends in physical activity in New South Wales. Is the tide of inactivity turning?

Josephine Chau*, Ben J. Smith, Adrian Bauman, Dafna Merom, Margo Eyeson-Annan, Tien Chey, Louise Farrell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine recent trends in sufficient physical activity among New South Wales adults aged 16 years and over. Method: Data were obtained from New South Wales population health surveys conducted in 1998 and from 2002 to 2005. Analyses examined trends in the proportions of adults achieving sufficient physical activity and trends in different modes of activity. Results: The proportion of adults achieving sufficient physical activity was stable between 1998 (47.6%) and 2002 (46.5%), declined in 2003 (44.7%), increased substantially in 2004 (50.5%), and remained steady in 2005 (51.3%). This increase was evident across different population groups. Adults who did any walking were 18 times more likely to be active than those who did no walking. Conclusion: Findings indicate that in recent years physical activity participation has begun to increase, and that this increase occurred across population segments. The increases occurred especially in walking behaviours. Implications: Given the known health benefits of being physically active, continued investment in physical activity promotion policies and programs is necessary to maintain these early gains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-85
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Physical activity
  • Prevalence
  • Surveillance
  • Trends
  • Walking

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