The 2007/08 Active New Zealand Survey demonstrates that large numbers of Kiwi adults continue to participate in sport and recreation.
The new research also shows that there has been no fall off in overall participation levels since the previous comparable survey in 2001.
The survey commissioned by SPARC reveals that, on any given week, 80 percent of New Zealanders aged 16 and above participate in a sport or recreation activity – that’s 2.6 million Kiwis having a go every week.
The data also shows that almost half the adult population meet the minimum recommended physical activity guidelines, that is, they did 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on at least five days a week. A further 20 percent of adults are close to meeting that target.
SPARC Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin says the survey results are highly encouraging.
“The survey shows that despite perceptions we’re becoming a nation of couch potatoes, we’re actually out having fun, playing and participating in our millions.
“It reinforces the good work the sport and recreation sector is doing in communities up and down the country.
“The data gives us tremendous confidence that sport and recreation are as important to New Zealanders as they’ve ever been,” Miskimmin said.
Other major results in the survey are:
Walking, gardening and swimming are the top three activities participated in per year;
Volunteers continue to be the backbone of sport and recreation with one in four adults involved as volunteers;
Clubs and centres play a major role in sport and recreation participation. Per month, one-third of adults utilise clubs/centres for sport and recreation;
We love to compete - 37 percent of adults are involved in events and organised competitions.
Among adults who are active, sport and recreation is the main way they achieve their recommended daily dose of physical activity
When compared to the total population, a similar proportion of Maori, New Zealand European and Pacific adults achieve New Zealand national physical activity guidelines
The 2007/08 Active New Zealand survey is the most thorough and robust national level survey of sport and recreation participation ever done in this country and the first to be published since 2001. A total of 4,443 face-to-face interviews were conducted over a 12 month period.
The initial report presents an overview of key findings, and over the next six months SPARC will be releasing profiles of regions, most popular sport and recreation activities, volunteers, and demographic profiles including ethnicity and older New Zealanders.
SPARC Research Manager Grant McLean says the survey will provide a wealth of information and will provide a meaningful benchmark for the future.
“What clearly comes through from the data is the large number of New Zealanders who are participating, myth-busting the perception we’re becoming more sedentary and less involved in getting out there and having a go in a wide range of sport and recreation activities.
“The survey results confirm that sport and recreation remain fundamental to the Kiwi way of life and that here is great potential for more New Zealanders to participate and be active,” McLean said.
SPARC is the crown entity responsible for promoting encouraging and supporting sport and physical recreation in New Zealand.
The active New Zealand survey key findings report can be viewed on the SPARC website at www.sparc.org.nz from 21 November 2008.