154,969 registered members
Sports participation linked to income
[Posted: Wed 18/02/2009 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
While one in four Irish adults are ‘highly active’, almost one in five lead a sedentary lifestyle, a new report on participation in sport has found.
According to the 2007 Irish Sports Monitor report, 24% of the Irish population can be classified as ‘highly active’, 28% as ‘fairly active’ and 30% as ‘just active’. However 18% are classed as ‘sedentary’.
People with high educational attainment, men, younger people and those on high incomes are much more likely to play sport and are much less likely to be sedentary.
The report notes that personal exercise activities, such as going to the gym and using exercise machines, are now the most popular sport and exercise activity in this country, followed by swimming.
While soccer is the most popular team sport by far, it ranks poorly among women when compared to other sports.
When it comes to volunteering, membership and attendance, Gaelic games remain the leading sport in terms of social participation. However there are now more gym members than GAA members.
Almost one in three adults (32%) are members of sports clubs and club membership is strongly related to high income and educational attainment.
In relation to walking, women walk more than men and appear to be a strong influence in this area, with men in couples walking much more than single men. Some 40% of people walk regularly for transport, although this figure is much lower in rural areas.
The report notes that active participation in sport and exercise in Ireland is broadly in line with participation in other developed countries. However participation rates are far behind those of the best performing countries, which are the Scandinavian countries and English-speaking Commonwealth nations.
A comparison of county councils shows that people in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Mayo recorded the highest participation in sport and exercise, while low participation was found in Dublin City, Limerick, Kildare, Offaly, Leitrim and Westmeath.
The report was published by the Irish Sports Council (ISC) following a collaboration with the ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute) and was based on a nationwide sample of almost 10,000 people aged 16 and older.
“The primary aim of the Irish Sports Monitor is to measure participation levels in sport over a number of years and to identify any emerging trends in participation. The monitor will be an important resource for all those making and implementing policy in their efforts to increase participation rates throughout the population," explained Peter Smyth, a research manager with the ISC.
The 2007 report is the first annual sports monitor report and will act as a baseline against which participation in future years can be assessed. The 2008 Irish Sports Monitor is due to be published this coming summer.
|Anonymous Posted: 20/02/2009 10:39|
I am a gym member and go 4 - 5 times a week. People may say that it is a yuppie / celtic tigerish sort of thing to do but I enjoy it and it's my time out. Going 4 times a week works out at only €3 per session based on the monthly fee. It's chaper if you can pay for a year at the time. There's a pool, hydo facilities and all sorts of classes, free to members along with health and fitness, nutrition advice, and regular assessments. Given that I wouldn't get exercise any other way, especially in winter, I think it's good value.
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