Present-day, there is a countless amount of participants partaking in sport and recreational activities. The rise in interest over the years in physical activity, leisure, and recreation has instigated already voluminous literature on contemporary sport and recreation to multiply (Henderson & Ainsworth, 2001). With this rise in participation and health benefits, it has caught a lot of people’s attention. However, not everyone can participate in recreational activities, certain constraints and barriers are hampering people’s abilities to partake in recreational activities. A growing concern is older adults not partaking in recreational activities, due to certain constraints.
The physical environment is a factor in older adults partaking in recreational activities. As well, the retirement age increasing every year, time will be an issue and financial constraints for future and present adults. Non-participants and occasional participants in sports and physical recreation reported a variety of constraints to participation, with the most common reasons for non-participation being: ’age/too old’; ’injury/illness’; ‘not interested’; ’insufficient time due to work/study’; and ’insufficient time due to family’ (Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport Research Group, 2007). All of this has a major factor on social capital and the economy, each year the total economic cost of physical inactivity is estimated to be $13.8 billion (Medibank 2008). With these constraints, there comes an initiative to try to isolate or solve these constraints. In 2009-10, the Australian Government will encourage community participation in sport and recreation, by providing funding for safe and modern sport and recreation projects and infrastructure (Section 2 – Department Outcomes – 15 Sport Performance and Participation,2009). With the world developing so fast, sports development and participation has to keep up.
Discussed literature on participation constraints will be related back to the key topics learnt throughout the AHS1100 Introduction to Sport and Recreation unit. More, specifically discussing participation constraints of older adults and seeing solutions to minimise the effect of constraints to participation.
Declining levels of sport participation has been a worrying issue internationally in recent years due to the links between physical inactivity and health-related issues, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease (Vail, 2007). These physical and mental issues can come down to many factors why they occur. They could occur due to genetics in the family history, lack of exercise or lack of commitment. However, one major issue that people find is that there are certain constraints or barriers restricting them to partake in any type of recreational activity. There was an association between age and participation in sports and physical recreation – the participation rate decreased with age (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007).