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Latest release

Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia methodology

Reference period
2013 - 2014
Released
18/02/2015
Next release Unknown
First release

Explanatory notes

Introduction

1 The statistics presented in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013–14 Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS). The MPHS is conducted each financial year throughout Australia from July to June as a supplement to the ABS' monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to provide annual statistics for a number of small, self-contained topics.

2 In 2013–14 the topics were: 

  • Attendance at selected cultural venues and events 
  • Participation in selected cultural activities 
  • Participation in sport and physical recreation 
  • Work related injuries 
  • Crime victimisation 
  • Patient experience.
     

3 For all topics, general demographic information such as age, sex, labour force characteristics, education and income are also available. 

4 This publication covers the Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation topic and presents details about the number and characteristics of people aged 15 years and over who participated in a range of sports and physical recreational activities.

5 Data for other 2013–14 topics will be released in separate publications. For all MPHS topics, information on labour force characteristics, education, income and other demographics are also available. Survey microdata from selected 2013-14 topics will also be released through the TableBuilder product. For more details, refer to the TableBuilder information, Microdata: Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation, Australia (cat. no. 4177.0.55.002).

Scope

6 The scope of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes the following:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments usually excluded from census and estimated resident populations
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).
     

7 In addition, the 2013–14 MPHS excluded the following from scope:

  • households in Indigenous communities
  • people living in non-private dwellings (e.g. hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of other institutions (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities)).

Coverage

8 In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.

Data collection

9 The 2013–14 MPHS was conducted as a supplement to the monthly LFS. Each month one eighth of the dwellings in the LFS sample were rotated out of the survey. All of these dwellings were then selected for the MPHS each month. In these dwellings, after the LFS had been fully completed for each person in scope and coverage, a person aged 15 years or over was selected at random (based on a computer algorithm) and asked the MPHS questions in a personal interview. If the randomly selected person was aged 15 to 17 years, permission was sought from a parent or guardian before conducting the interview. If permission was not given, the parent or guardian was asked the questions on behalf of the 15 to 17 year old. Data were collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses were recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer, usually during a telephone interview.

10 For the 2013–14 MPHS, the sample was accumulated over a twelve month period from July 2013 to June 2014.

11 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, sample redesign, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also applies to supplementary surveys. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing relevant to both the monthly LFS and supplementary surveys.

Sample size

12 The initial sample for the Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation topic was around 24,400 private dwellings, from which one person was randomly selected. Of the 20,800 private dwellings that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. vacant or derelict dwellings, dwellings under construction and dwellings selected in the survey that had no residents in scope for the LFS), 15,988 or 76.8% fully responded to the questions on participation in sport and physical recreation.

Weighting, benchmarking and estimation

Weighting

13 Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total in-scope population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each covered sample unit which for the MPHS can be either a person or a household. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit.

14 The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the inverse of the probability of being selected in the survey. For example, if the probability of a person being selected in the survey was 1 in 600, then the person would have an initial weight of 600 (i.e. they represent 600 people).

Benchmarking

15 The initial weights were then calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks', in designated categories of sex by age by area of usual residence. Weights calibrated against population benchmarks ensure that the survey estimates conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population rather than the distribution within the sample itself. Calibration to population benchmarks helps to compensate for over or under-enumeration of particular categories of persons/households which may occur due to either the random nature of sampling or non-response.

16 For person estimates, the MPHS was benchmarked to the projected population in each state and territory, at March 2014. The MPHS estimates do not (and are not intended to) match estimates for the total Australian population obtained from other sources.

Estimation

17 Survey estimates of counts of persons or households are obtained by summing the weights of persons or households with the characteristic of interest. Estimates of non-person counts (e.g. days spent attending an event) are obtained by multiplying the characteristic of interest with the weight of the reporting person/household and aggregating.

18 To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustment of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics. After perturbation, a given published cell value will be consistent across all tables. However, adding up cell values to derive a total will not necessarily give the same result as published totals. The introduction of perturbation in publications ensures that these statistics are consistent with statistics released via services such as Table Builder.

Reliability of estimates

19 All sample surveys are subject to error which can be broadly categorised as either:

  • sampling error
  • non-sampling error.

Sampling error

20 Sampling error is the difference between the published estimates, derived from a sample of persons, and the value that would have been produced if the total population (as defined for the scope of the survey) had been included in the survey. For more information refer to the Technical Note.

Non-sampling error

21 Non-sampling error may occur in any collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full count such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents or recording of answers by interviewers and errors in coding and processing data. Every effort is made to reduce non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questionnaires, training and supervision of interviewers, and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.

Interpretation of results

22 This publication presents details of persons who participated in a sport or physical recreational activity as a participant at least once during the 12 months prior to interview in 2013-14 The term 'participant' is defined as a player, competitor or person who takes part in some other physically active role. Information on involvement by people who participated solely as coaches, umpires or club officials are excluded from the participant data but included in the involvement of organised activity data.

23 Information on the frequency of participation was collected by asking respondents how many times they participated during the year, for each activity in which they participated.

24 No information was collected regarding the intensity in which the sport or physical activity was undertaken. For example, a cycling participant may have undertaken this activity at a leisurely pace or vigorously.

25 Activities such as gardening, housework, manual labouring and other forms of occupational physical activity were excluded from the data.

Data comparability

26 The ABS has previously collected data on participation in sport and physical recreation in various surveys from 1993 to 2000 using the Population Survey Monitor, in 2002, 2006 and 2010 using the General Social Survey, in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010 using the Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity survey, and in 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2011–12 using the MPHS. Comparisons can only be made with the 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2011–12 surveys because of methodological differences with the other surveys.

Comparability with the 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2011-12 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation Survey

27 While the 2013-14 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation Survey is generally comparable with the 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2011-12 iterations, there are some differences. The 2005–06 survey provided information on the motivators and constraints of non-participants and low level participants. This information was replaced in 2009–10 and 2011–12 with questions on types of facilities used for sport and physical activities. However, the types of facilities that were asked about in 2011–12 differ to the facilities covered in 2009–10, and therefore these estimates are not comparable.

28 Care should be taken when comparing data for the Northern Territory (NT) across the surveys, as sample sizes limit the reliability of the estimates particularly at a detailed level.

29 There have been changes to the definition of several sports and physical recreation activities. Estimates for Dancing/Ballet and Gymnastics should not be compared to previous surveys. The following sports and physical recreation activities are separately identified since the 2011–12 survey: Aerobics; Fitness/Gym; Football sports; Scuba diving/Snorkelling; and Weightlifting/Bodybuilding. These activities should not be compared with previous surveys. For further information, see the Glossary.

Comparability with monthly LFS statistics

30 Due to differences in the scope and sample size of the MPHS and that of the LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some small variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.

Future surveys

31 The ABS will conduct the MPHS again during the 2014-15 financial year. The 2014-15 MPHS topics are:

  • Education and Household income (core)
  • Household use of IT
  • Barriers and incentives to labour force participation
  • Retirement and retirement intentions
  • Patient Experience
  • Crime Victimisation
  • Qualifications and work outcomes.

Acknowledgement

32 ABS surveys draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

33 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily upcoming release advice on the website that details products to be released in the week ahead.

Technical note - data quality

Reliability of the estimates

1 The estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample survey. Any data collection may encounter factors, known as non-sampling error, which can impact on the reliability of the resulting statistics. In addition, the reliability of estimates based on sample surveys are also subject to sampling variability. That is, the estimates may differ from those that would have been produced had all persons in the population been included in the survey.

Non-sampling error

2 Non-sampling error may occur in any collection, whether it is based on a sample or a full count such as a census. Sources of non-sampling error include non-response, errors in reporting by respondents or recording of answers by interviewers and errors in coding and processing data. Every effort is made to reduce non-sampling error by careful design and testing of questionnaires, training and supervision of interviewers, and extensive editing and quality control procedures at all stages of data processing.

Sampling error

3 One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of persons was included. There are about two chances in three (67%) that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the number that would have been obtained if all persons had been surveyed, and about 19 chances in 20 (95%) that the difference will be less than two SEs.

4 Another measure of the likely difference is the relative standard error (RSE), which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate.

\(R S E \%=\left(\frac{S E}{\text {estimate}}\right) \times 100\)

5 RSEs for count estimates have been calculated using the Jackknife method of variance estimation. This involves the calculation of 30 'replicate' estimates based on 30 different subsamples of the obtained sample. The variability of estimates obtained from these subsamples is used to estimate the sample variability surrounding the count estimate.

6 The Excel spreadsheets in the Data downloads contain all the tables produced for this release and the calculated RSEs for each of the estimates.

7 Only estimates (numbers or percentages) with RSEs less than 25% are considered sufficiently reliable for most analytical purposes. However, estimates with larger RSEs have been included. Estimates with an RSE in the range 25% to 50% should be used with caution while estimates with RSEs greater than 50% are considered too unreliable for general use. All cells in the Excel spreadsheets with RSEs greater than 25% contain a comment indicating the size of the RSE. These cells can be identified by a red indicator in the corner of the cell. The comment appears when the mouse pointer hovers over the cell.

Calculation of standard error

8 Standard errors can be calculated using the estimates (counts or percentages) and the corresponding RSEs. See What is a Standard Error and Relative Standard Error, Reliability of estimates for Labour Force data for more details.

Proportions and percentages

 9 Proportions and percentages formed from the ratio of two estimates are also subject to sampling errors. The size of the error depends on the accuracy of both the numerator and the denominator. A formula to approximate the RSE of a proportion is given below. This formula is only valid when x is a subset of y:

\(R S E\left(\frac{x}{y}\right) \approx \sqrt{[R S E(x)]^{2}-[R S E(y)]^{2}}\)

Differences

10 The difference between two survey estimates (counts or percentages) can also be calculated from published estimates. Such an estimate is also subject to sampling error. The sampling error of the difference between two estimates depends on their SEs and the relationship (correlation) between them. An approximate SE of the difference between two estimates (x-y) may be calculated by the following formula:

\(S E(x-y) \approx \sqrt{[S E(x)]^{2}+[S E(y)]^{2}}\)

11 While this formula will only be exact for differences between separate and uncorrelated characteristics or sub populations, it provides a good approximation for the differences likely to be of interest in this publication.

Significance testing

12 A statistical significance test for a comparison between estimates can be performed to determine whether it is likely that there is a difference between the corresponding population characteristics. The standard error of the difference between two corresponding estimates (x and y) can be calculated using the formula shown above in the Differences section. This standard error is then used to calculate the following test statistic:

\(\large\left(\frac{x-y}{S E(x-y)}\right)\)

13 If the value of this test statistic is greater than 1.96 then there is evidence, with a 95% level of confidence, of a statistically significant difference in the two populations with respect to that characteristic. Otherwise, it cannot be stated with confidence that there is a real difference between the populations with respect to that characteristic.

Glossary

Show all

Athletics, track and field

Includes running (for athletics).

Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

The ASCED is a national standard classification which includes all sectors of the Australian education system: that is, schools, vocational education and training, and higher education. From 2001, ASCED replaced a number of classifications used in administrative and statistical systems, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ). The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of education and Field of education. See Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) developed by the ABS provides the framework for the collection and dissemination of statistics. See Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Balance of state/territory

Comprises the balance of each state/territory not included in Capital City. See Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Capital city

Refers to Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSA) as defined by the ASGS. The GCCSAs represent the socio-economic extent of each of the eight State and Territory capital cities. The whole of the ACT is included in the GCCSA. See Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Certificate not further defined

Survey responses are coded to Certificate not further defined (n.f.d.) when there is not enough information to code them to Certificate I, II, III or IV in the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0), Level of education classification.

Country of birth

Country of birth has been classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) (cat. no. 1269.0).

Couple

Two people in a registered or de facto marriage, who usually live in the same household.

Course/qualification

For this survey, a qualification is the completion of a course or qualification relevant to the non-playing roles surveyed, regardless of the length of the course or the type of institution offering the course. This may include: training run by sporting associations or clubs; study at educational institutions; and attendance at workshops or seminars.

Cycling/BMXing

Includes bike riding and mountain biking.

Dancing/ballet

Includes ballroom dancing, belly dancing, boot scooting, callisthenics, dance sport, folk dancing, Latin dancing, line dancing, salsa, swing dancing and other forms of dancing.

Dependent children

All people aged under 15 years; and people aged 15–24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.

Deciles

Groupings that result from ranking all households or persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic such as their household income and then dividing the population into 10 equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population.

Employed

All people aged 15 years and over who, during the week prior to interview:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or
  • worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or
  • were employees who had a job but were not at work and were:
    • away from work for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week; or
    • away from work for more than four weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the reference week; or
    • away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement; or
    • on strike or locked out; or
    • on workers' compensation and expected to return to their job; or
  • were employers or own account workers who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.

Employed full-time

Employed persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week.

Employed part-time

Employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work in the reference week.

Equivalised household income

Equivalising adjusts actual income to take into account the different needs of the households of different sizes and compositions. There are economic advantages associated with living with others, because household resources, especially housing, can be shared. The equivalence scale used to obtain equivalised income is that used in studies by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and is referred to as the 'modified OECD scale'. The scale gives a weight of 1.0 to the first adult in the household, a weight of 0.5 for each additional adult (persons aged 15 years and over) and a weight of 0.3 for every child. For each household, the weights of the household members are added together to form a household weight. Total household income is then divided by the household weight to give an income that a lone person household would need for a similar standard of living. Equivalised household income can be viewed as an indicator of the economic resources available to each member of the household.

Family

Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who usually live in the same household. A separate family is formed for each married couple, or for each set of parent-child relationships where only one parent is present.

Field of education

Field of education is defined as the subject matter of an educational activity. It is categorised according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0) Field of education classification. This publication presents the main field of education studied.

Fishing

Includes angling.

Fitness/gym

Includes boot camp, circuits, exercise biking, box exercise, kick boxing, fitness classes, gym classes, gym workouts, RPM, spin cycling, treadmill activities, weight training and zumba.

Football sports

Includes American football, Gaelic football, gridiron, Oztag, touch football and USA football.

Gymnastics

Includes acrobatics, trampolining and cheerleading.

Horse riding/equestrian activities/polo

Includes dressage, polo cross, show jumping and pony club.

Household

A group of two or more related or unrelated people who usually reside in the same dwelling, who regard themselves as a household, and who make common provision for food or other essentials for living; or a person living in a dwelling who makes provision for his/her own food and other essentials for living, without combining with any other person.

Household composition

Descriptions of the different types of household composition are provided below:

Couple only. A household consisting of a couple with no other related or unrelated persons usually resident.

Couple with dependent children. A household consisting of a couple and at least one dependent child usually resident in the household. Related non-dependent children may also be present in the household. Households which also have other related or unrelated residents are included.

One parent with dependent children. A household consisting of a lone parent and at least one dependent child usually resident in the household. Non-dependent children may also be present in the household. Households which also have other related or unrelated usual residents are included.

Lone person. A household consisting of a person living alone.

Other. Comprises all other households, including multiple family households, group households and households consisting of unrelated adults, and other one family households.

Ice/snow sports

Includes bobsledding, broomball, ice hockey, ice skating, ice racing/speed skating, skeleton, snow skiing and snow boarding.

Income

Income consists of all current receipts, whether monetary or in kind, that are received by the household or by individual members of the household, and which are available for, or intended to support, current consumption.

Income includes receipts from:

  • wages and salaries and other receipts from employment (whether from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of salary sacrificed and/or salary package arrangements
  • profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships)
  • net investment income (interest, rent, dividends, royalties)
  • government pensions and allowances
  • private transfers (e.g. superannuation, workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support, and financial support received from family members not living in the same household).
     

Gross income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax, the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge are deducted. Other measures of income are Disposable income and Equivalised disposable household income.

Note that child support and other transfers from other households are not deducted from the incomes of the households making the transfers.

Index of relative socio-economic disadvantage

This is one of four Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFAs) compiled by the ABS following each Census of Population and Housing, from various characteristics of persons resident in particular areas. The Index of Disadvantage summarises attributes such as income, educational attainment, unemployment and occupation skill levels. The index refers to the area (the Statistical Area Level 1) in which a person lives, not to the socio-economic situation of the particular individual.

The index ranks areas on a continuum from most disadvantaged to least disadvantaged. A low score on the index (i.e. lowest quintile or decile) indicates a high proportion of relatively disadvantaged people in an area. Such areas include many households with low income, people with no qualifications and many people in low skill occupations. It should be noted that it cannot be concluded that an area with a very high score has a large proportion of relatively advantaged ('well off') people, as there are no variables in the index to indicate this. It can only be concluded that such an area has a relatively low incidence of disadvantage.

The indexes used in this publication were those compiled following the 2011 Census. For further information about the indexes, see Census of Population and Housing: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) (cat. no. 2033.0.55.001).

Indoor sports or fitness centres

Includes indoor tennis, netball, basketball etc. courts, halls and community centres, bowling alleys, indoor rock climbing walls and ice rinks.

Involvement in organised sport and physical activity

Involvement includes players and participants, as well as persons involved in non-playing roles. Respondents could have been involved in more than one non-playing role and/or as a player. Persons who were involved only as a spectator or only as a club member are excluded.

Jogging/running

Includes running for exercise.

Junior sport

Junior sport includes those sports and physical activities in which young participants are primarily grouped according to age rather than ability. There is no specific age limit applied to this definition because the age criteria for junior sport may vary from sport to sport.

Labour force status

A classification of the civilian population aged 15 years and over into employed, unemployed or not in the labour force, as defined. The definitions conform closely to the international standard definitions adopted by the International Conferences of Labour Statisticians.

Level of education

Level of education is a function of the quality and quantity of learning involved in an educational activity. It is categorised according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) (cat. no. 1272.0) Level of education classification.

Level of highest educational attainment

Level of highest educational attainment identifies the highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study. It is not a measurement of the relative importance of different fields of study but a ranking of qualifications and other educational attainments regardless of the particular area of study or the type of institution in which the study was undertaken. For more information regarding how Level of highest educational attainment is derived see Decision Table: Level of highest educational attainment.

Level not determined

Level not determined includes inadequately described responses or where no responses were given.

Martial arts

Includes Aikido, Chi Kung, Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, Kendo, Kickboxing, Ninjitsu, Taekwondo and Tai Chi.

Medical support role

This role includes persons who indicated that they had been involved as a provider of medical support for organised physical activities or sports. This would include medical practitioners, physiotherapists, first aid attendants, etc.

Motor sports

Includes car racing, drag racing, go-karting, motorbike racing and speedway.

Non-dependent children

All persons aged 15 years or over (except those aged 15–24 years who are full-time students) who have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.

Non-organised sport and physical recreation

Those sport and physical recreation activities which were not organised by a club or recreation association, such as social clubs, church groups, old scholars associations or gymnasiums. Persons may participate in both non-organised and organised activities.

Non-playing roles

These roles are undertaken to support, arrange and/or run organised sport and physical activity. The six roles included in this survey are: coach, instructor, or teacher; referee or umpire; committee member or administrator; scorer or timekeeper; medical support; and other roles.

Non-school qualification

Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. They include qualifications at the Postgraduate Degree level, Master Degree level, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate level, Bachelor Degree level, Advanced Diploma and Diploma level, and Certificates I, II, III and IV levels. Non-school qualifications may be attained concurrently with school qualifications.

Not in labour force

Persons who were not in the categories ‘employed’ or ‘unemployed’.

Number of hours of involvement

For each role, the number of hours of involvement is an estimate of the average number of hours per week for those weeks in which the respondent took part in the role during the 12 months before interview.

Number of weeks of involvement

For each role, the number of weeks of involvement is an estimate of the number of weeks that the respondent had been involved in that particular role during the 12 months prior to interview.

Occupation

Occupation data is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0).

Off-road cycleways or bike paths

Includes off-road tracks or trails that are surfaced (e.g. gravel or bitumen) or unsurfaced (e.g. dirt). Excludes on-road bicycle lanes.

Organised sport and physical activity

Those sport and physical recreation activities which were organised by a club or recreation association. The club or organisation did not need to be a sporting body; it may have been a social club, church group, old scholars association or gymnasium. Persons may participate in both organised and non-organised activities.

Outdoor sports facilities

Includes public swimming pools, outdoor tennis, basketball etc. courts, bowling greens, ski resorts, BMX tracks/courses, golf courses and athletics tracks. Excludes residential and educational institution swimming pools.

Parks or reserves

Includes open space or tracks or trails in nature areas.

Participant

Those playing a sport or physically undertaking an activity. Persons involved solely as a coach, teacher, instructor, referee, umpire, administrator or club committee member are excluded from the data.

Participation rate

The number of people who participated in an activity at least once during the year as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over. For example, the participation rate for males aged 15–17 years in NSW would be a percentage of all males aged 15–17 years in NSW.

Players

Players includes those who were involved in playing or participating in organised sport or organised physical activity at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. Persons who were players could also have been involved in non-playing roles.

Public playing fields and ovals

Grounds that consist of wide expanses of grass, dirt or sand with any marked lines, goals/goal posts or other sport-specific infrastructures, such as football fields.

Qualification

Formal certification, issued by a relevant approved body, in recognition that a person has achieved an appropriate level of learning outcomes or competencies relevant to identified individual, professional, industry or community needs. Statements of attainment awarded for partial completion of a course of study at a particular level are excluded.

Rugby league

Includes rugby league sevens.

Rugby union

Includes rugby sevens.

School sport

School sport includes those sports and physical activities that are organised by any school or college that caters for students up to and including Year 12. Participation may take place either within or outside of school hours.

Schools and educational facilities

Includes swimming pools in educational facilities.

Shooting sports

Includes hunting (with gun), bird shooting, clay shooting, crossbow shooting, duck shooting, paintball, pistol shooting, rifle shooting, running target shooting, shotgun shooting, skirmish, target shooting and trap shooting.

Skateboarding/inline hockey/roller sports

Includes rollerblading, roller derby and rollerskating.

Soccer (indoor)

Includes futsal.

Sport and physical recreation

Respondents were not advised what activities they should include as sport or physical recreation. However, activities such as gardening, housework, manual labouring and other forms of occupational physical activity were excluded.

Surf lifesaving

Includes royal lifesaving.

Surf sports

Includes surfing, stand-up paddleboarding and bodyboarding.

Swimming/diving

Includes springboard diving, platform diving and synchronised swimming.

Trail bike riding

Includes dirt bike riding.

Unemployed

People aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week, and:

  • had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week and were available for work in the reference week; or
  • were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the end of the reference week and could have started in the reference week if the job had been available then.

Unpaid involvement

This is involvement in organised sport and physical activity for which no payment (either in dollars or in goods and services) was received or expected.

Volleyball (indoor and outdoor)

Includes Newcombe ball.

Waterskiing/powerboating

Includes jet skiing and wake boarding.

Quality declaration - summary

Institutional environment

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

Relevance

The Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) is collected as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is designed to collect statistics for a number of small, self-contained topics. The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes:

  • members of the permanent defence forces
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments usually excluded from census and estimated resident populations
  • overseas residents in Australia
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).
     

In addition, the MPHS excludes:

  • households in Indigenous Communities
  • people living in non-private dwellings (e.g. hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of other institutions (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities)).
     

One eighth of the total households in the LFS sample each month are selected for the MPHS. In these households, a usual resident aged 15 years or over is selected at random to respond to the MPHS.

The Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation topic provides information about the characteristics of persons aged 15 years and over who participate in physical activities for the purposes of sport, recreation or exercise. The data collected includes the types of sports/activities participated in, the frequency of participation, whether the activity was organised by a club, association or other organisation and the facilities used.

In the 2013–14 survey, additional data was also collected that focussed, in particular, on non-playing roles in organised sports and activities. This included the types of non-playing roles undertaken (e.g. coaches, referees, administrators etc.), whether a course or qualification was completed for these roles, whether any involvement was with school or junior sport, whether any payment was received and the time spent on each type of involvement. This information was previously collected in April 2010 in the Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity supplementary survey.

Participation and/or involvement in sport and physical recreation activities contributes to quality of life and is an important indicator of mental and physical health, while participation in organised and/or group activities is an indicator of social and community well-being. Consequently, the data from the survey is used to assist in the development of programs to encourage greater participation in physical activity that, in turn, leads to health benefits and community well-being. Governments also provide considerable funding to community groups and sporting clubs for sporting facilities to encourage and facilitate involvement. The information, therefore, assists in understanding the characteristics of participants and the patterns of participation and involvement in sport and related physical activities.

Timeliness

The MPHS is collected annually with enumeration undertaken in each month over the financial year period from July 2013 to June 2014. The survey reference period relates to sports and physical recreation activities undertaken in the 12 months prior to the survey interview. Generally, data from the MPHS are released approximately 6–8 months after enumeration. Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation is expected to be next collected in the 2015–16 MPHS.

Accuracy

The Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation topic comprised a sample of just under 16,000 fully responding households, which represented a response rate of 76.8% (after taking sample loss into account).

Two types of error are possible in an estimate based on a sample survey: non-sampling error and sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures.

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. One measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey is given by the standard error (SE). There are about two chances in three a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about 19 chances in 20 the difference will be less than two SEs. Measures of the relative standard errors (RSE) of the estimates for this survey are included with this release.

All aggregate statistics presented in tables have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of any data that may inadvertently identify an individual. The technique to adjust the data is called perturbation. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the data.

Coherence

The ABS has previously collected information on Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation as part of the MPHS in 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2011–12. While the ABS seeks to maximise consistency and comparability over time by minimising changes to the survey, sound survey practice requires ongoing development to maintain the integrity of the data. Excluding the addition of the questions relating to involvement in organised sports and physical activities, the 2013–14 survey questions are unchanged in comparison with those asked in 2011–12. For details about changes to the survey for other years, please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

Some data on Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation is also collected in the General Social Survey (GSS) – in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. As the GSS uses a different collection methodology, data are not comparable with MPHS data.

After each Census, population estimates are normally revised back five years to the previous Census year. As announced in the June 2012 issue of Australian Demographic Statistics (cat. no. 3101.0), intercensal error between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses was larger than normal due to improved methodologies used in the 2011 Census Post Enumeration Survey. The intercensal error analysis indicated that previous population estimates for the base Census years were over-counted. An indicative estimate of the size of the over-count is that there should have been 240,000 fewer people at June 2006, 130,000 fewer in 2001 and 70,000 fewer in 1996. As a result, population benchmarks have been revised for the last 20 years rather than the usual five.

Consequently, estimates of particular populations derived from the 2013-14 MPHS may be lower than those published in 2011-12 for this topic. Therefore, comparisons of estimates of the number of people with previous years are not possible. However, for comparable data items, comparison of rates or proportions between years is appropriate.

Interpretability

To aid in the interpretation of the participation in sport and physical recreation data, detailed information on concepts, definitions, terminology and other technical aspects of the survey can be found in the relevant web pages included with this release.

Accessibility

All tables and associated RSEs are available in Excel spreadsheets and can be accessed from the Data downloads.

Data is also available through the TableBuilder environment. TableBuilder is an online tool for creating tables and graphs. For further details, refer to the Microdata Entry Page.

Additional tables can also be produced on request. The Data downloads include an Excel spreadsheet containing a complete list of the data items available. Note that detailed data can be subject to high RSEs and, in some cases, may result in data being confidentialised or not being available.

For further information about these or related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.

Abbreviations

Show all

ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ASGSAustralian Statistical Geography Standard
LFSLabour Force Survey
MPHSMultipurpose Household Survey
MPSMonthly Population Survey
n.f.d.not further defined
OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
RSErelative standard error
SEstandard error
TBTableBuilder