Skip links and keyboard navigation

Physical activity

Why is physical activity important?

The benefits of being physically active are well known. They include:

  • improved sleep
  • reduced feelings of depression and anxiety
  • helping to stay a healthy body weight
  • reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • reduced risk of developing high blood pressure
  • the prevention of some cancers.

After settling in Australia, many people report being less physically active. Common reasons include:

  • the replacement of walking or cycling as the main means of transport in their country of origin for public transport and private vehicles in Australia
  • perceived safety risk, particularly for women when walking in public
  • lack of gender-specific venues for physical activity for some cultural and religious communities
  • lack of participation in organised sport and other physical activity options due to lack of transport and the cost
  • other competing priorities, such as employment and education, which take precedence over physical activity.

Physical activity project activities

Community learn-to-swim programs

The learn-to-swim programs offer both female and male participants the opportunity to gain life-saving skills, including safe entry into the pool, floating, water-survival skills and CPR awareness. The programs build participants' confidence in the water and their enjoyment of swimming and keeping active.


Swim instructor training

The swim instructor course provides training for both females and males to become qualified swim instructors. This provides flexible employment opportunities and a career pathway to other industries such as the Queensland Police Service. The program includes theory, on-the-job training, CPR and the acquisition of a blue card.


After school physical activity

The after-school program introduces primary school aged children to a variety of sports, including tennis, netball, football and basketball. It links participants to local sporting clubs. The goal is to spark interest in sport in children to help them to be active into adulthood.


Community sporting equipment

The sporting equipment microgrants support communities to start their preferred type of sporting activity. It promotes participation in unstructured sports. Community groups and members receive sporting equipment for use within their local community, in places such as local parks.


Physical activity resources

Staying Healthy in Australia: Keeping Active is a short video that outlines the reduction in physical activity that can occur when settling in Australia. It talks about the benefits of keeping active and explains the physical activity guidelines. The video encourages people to undertake a range of activities that they enjoy every day.


Eddie learns to swim is a short video documentary on the journey of one adult from fear of the water to enjoyment and competence in swimming.


The Healthy New Communities Swim Strategy video is a visual report of the work done by the project to support people from emerging communities to swim. Many people come from land-locked countries where swimming is not practiced. This makes people at hightened risk of drowning or restricts their ability to socially engage in a new country where swimming is an important activity. The video explains the learn-to-swim programs funded by the project and the outcomes to participants.

Physical activity project partners

The Aqua English Project, ACCESS Community Services, Rackley Swimming School, Hurricane Stars Club Inc, AUSTSWIM, Stanford Swimming School, Islamic Women's Association of Australia (IWAA), TAFE Queensland Loganlea Campus, Logan City Council, Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT).

Last updated 4 February 2021
Last reviewed 21 December 2020