Numbers taking exercise double
The number of people engaging in some form of personal exercise – that is predominantly gym exercise – has almost doubled since 2009.
That is according to the latest Irish Sports Monitor, compiled by the research firm Ipsos MRBI for the Sports Council.
The report launched in Dublin this afternoon also shows that “sedentarism” – that is taking less than a 20 minute bout of recreational activity in the last seven days – fell from 16 per cent of the population in 2009, to just 13 per cent in 2009.
Speaking at the launch, Kieran O’Leary research director with Ipsos MRBI linked the rise in personal exercise to the recession. He said “increased time a key factor in increased participation with notable increases among the unemployed as well as those among the younger and older groups of adults.
Overall the report found participation in sport increased from 34 percent in 2009 to 46 per cent in 2011.
Not withstanding the recession, which is sometimes a deterrent to people joining clubs and gyms, club membership increased from 32 per cent to 38 per cent over the period. Attendance at sporting events also increased from 17 per cent of the population in 2009 to 22 per cent in 2011
The survey based on 8,749 telephone interviews with those over 16 years of age also found:
* The most popular forms of exercise were personal exercise mainly of the type undertaken in a gym, swimming, running, soccer and cycling.
* Increased time a key factor in increased participation with notable increases the younger and older groups of adults.
Launching the report, Minister of State Michael Ring said growing participation in sport was “great news, especially for all the people and organisations who work hard to get more people involved”.
He said he was particularly happy to see “more volunteers, more people joining clubs, and more people attending sporting events. The report shows that Government investment in sport is boosting sporting activity, and hopefully producing a healthier society’.