More active communities, more active people

Physical activity is any activity that gets your body moving, makes you breathe quicker and your heart beat faster. Not getting enough physical activity and being sedentary (spending long amounts of time sitting or lying down) is a big cause of ill-health for Australians because it is a risk factor for chronic disease.More active communities, more active people highlight image

Regular physical activity can promote healthy growth and development. It can benefit the whole community by encouraging greater family and social connectedness. Even small amounts of physical activity can provide protection against long-term illness.

How big is the problem?

Physical inactivity is a problem across all age groups.  Around 40 per cent of Tasmanian children do not get the physical activity level recommended by the Australian Physical Activity guidelines. This rises to 80 per cent of adolescents. Around 70 per cent of adults don't get enough physical activity.

Tasmanian adults spend an average of 37 hours a week in sedentary time. 65 per cent of Tasmanian children are exceeding the recommendations for screen time. Adults in the most advantaged areas are more likely to meet activity guidelines than those in disadvantaged areas.

Why are we not getting enough physical activity?

There are many reasons for physical inactivity. In some communities’ poor physical infrastructure or inadequate public space (green spaces, community sport, gyms etc) do not encourage physical activity. Perceptions of a lack of safety can also be a barrier leading to people not feeling safe to walk in areas or at night or to cycle on roads.  For some people the fear of being judged while exercising can also be a barrier. For older people, having a chronic condition can make it harder to be physically active.

What can we do?

The most effective interventions are those that target groups and use multiple strategies in partnership with the community and other sectors.  Examples include:

  • Using social marketing to promote physical activity
  • Teaching fundamental movement skills and physical activity skills in childcare, schools and high schools
  • Using our planning systems to provide Tasmanians with access to natural environments, public open spaces and green areas, connected streets and active transport networks
  • Training health and community workers to provide physical activity advice and provide programs suitable for different communities (for example, the Get Active Program)
  • Providing children and young people with opportunities to reduce their screen time and to get moving more (for example, active classrooms and parenting strategies)

Further links and guidance:

Healthy Tasmania Move More

Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for the Early Years

Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Young People

Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Adults and Older Australians

Sport 2030 – National Sport Plan

Blueprint for an Active Australia

The Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030