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Keeping physically active is important for staying healthy. Physical exercise is good for a person's social and emotional wellbeing and reduces the risks of heart problems, diabetes, and some cancers .
The 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social survey (NATSISS) found that three-quarters of Indigenous children had been active for at least one hour on every day in the week before the survey . Very few children (3%) did no physical activity the week before the survey.
For Indigenous adults, the 2008 NATSISS found that around one-third had taken part in physical activity or sport in the 12 months before the survey (Derived from ).
The most recent data that can compare the physical activity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is from the 2004-2005 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSIHS). This survey found that more Indigenous people than non-Indigenous people were sedentary (had very little or no exercise) . One-half of the Indigenous people in the survey reported that they were sedentary compared with one-third of non-Indigenous people (Figure 7). Around one-fifth of Indigenous people and one-third of non-Indigenous people had moderate or high levels of physical activity.
Figure 1. Proportions (%) of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people by levels of physical activity, Australia, 2004-2005
Source: AIHW, 2011