Nationwide monitoring and surveillance data requirements for health: Physical activity

Working Paper No. 4

Published: 2003

This paper sets out the current situation in trends in the physical activity of Australians based on the most recent national surveys. It summarises the body of evidence and costings which set out the benefits of physical activity, identify physical inactivity as a major risk factor involved in preventable disease, disability and death, and estimated human and health system costs arising from these preventable events. Some of the current national multisectoral alliances and strategies to address the general goal of increasing levels of physical activity in the population are overviewed, together with the work being undertaken to underpin the strategies (such as work on measurements and standardisation of surveillance questions). It examines the identified characteristics of subgroups of the currently surveilled population and argues for an extension of surveillance to other subgroups (such as children, older people and indigenous populations) and to environmental factors. Possible national performance indicators are set out in long and short term frameworks, and related concepts are briefly discussed in terms of their inclusion in population surveillance and monitoring instruments.

Important terms are set out in the glossary and appendices provide further information on some topics.

Authored by PHIDU

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