Less than 50% of adults in Ireland partake in sport, according to a 2019 report released by Sports Ireland.
The 46% participation rate does signal a 3% increased from figures released for the previous year but are still some way off the 50% target set out in 2010.
Physical activity has become widely accepted to have a positive impact on physical and mental health. With mental illness and obesity receiving major focus as key issues in recent years, the government will be eager to study these results and strive for improvements in adult participation in sport.
These figures will be a cause of concern for the government as pressure on healthcare and the scarcity mental health services continues to be a topical issue.
Such figures may come as a surprise at a time when the health and fitness industry is booming, and gym memberships at an all-time high.
So why is it that the chart below isn’t reflective of these figures.
Firstly, the data which was published represents adults who are participating in recognised sports and sports clubs. Personal exercise schedules such as gym work, going our for a run or walk, or social sporting gatherings such as a friendly 5 a side aren’t taken into consideration.
While we would like to see more people engaging with recognised sports clubs, there now appears to be a shift where people are taking an individual approach to exercise.
The report which linked below, provides further detail on how people prefer to exercise. – “Overall, personal exercise remains the most popular activity (16%) followed by swimming (8%), running (7%) and cycling (4%).”
This isn’t necessarily a negative thing however there are huge social and community level benefits to adult participation with local clubs.
Liam Wilson, a chief co-ordinator of adult GAA leagues commented on the recently published statistics. “Local clubs have a responsibility within their community to promote inclusivity, create a welcoming environment and cater for participants at all levels of ability”
Do these statistics surprise you? Do you find it a challenge to exercise regularly? Please comment below.