Participation: The latest AusPlay survey results, to June 2022

Sport Australia has released its latest AusPlay survey results, for the year July 2021 to June 2022.

Bushwalking ranking – Nationally and in WA, bushwalking (/hiking) has remained in the top six of the 133 activities with regard to participation, one place behind cycling.

Participation – 8.8% (1.9 million) of Australia’s adult population participated in bushwalking compared to 13.6% in cycling and 2.0% in mountain biking. Small drops in participation in all three activities compared to 2020-2021 likely relate to easing of Covid-19 restrictions and re-opening of previously less accessible activities. In WA, bushwalking participation, at 6.8% (~149,000) of adults, was a little lower than nationally,.

Long-term increase in participation –The longer term national data shows an overall increase of 3.9% for adult participation in bushwalking over the past 21 years compared to a 5.4% increase in cycling. However over the past 7 years, since a low in 2015, participation in bushwalking has more than doubled from 4% to ~9%, with the greatest rate of increase being over the Covid-19 years, most likely reflecting the relative ease of access to bushwalking opportunities midst COVID restrictions.

Gender participation – Both nationally and in WA, a strong trend of increasing female participation continues (now 55.5 % female : 44.5% male) similar to the national ratio of female 54% : male 46%, contrasting with a seemingly strongly male-centric  activity such as mountain biking where the ratio is 21% female : 79% male.

Non-sports versus Sports activities – Nationally, 27.3% of adults participated in non-sports related physical activities compared to 15.5% in sport-related activities. Non-sport activities have increased significantly (by 27 percentage points from 2001 to 2022, while participation in sport-related activities hasn’t increased.

See the AusPlay National and State results released 31 October 2022.


(Posted 1 November 2022.)

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