Enhancing Physical Activity. An activation study to increase sport participation in Austria.


Empirical studies show that around 60% of the Austrian population participate in sports activities less than 1-2 times per month – not enough to ensure the health benefits of active sport. There is certainly a potential to increase sport participation in this group. As a basis for possible development of this potential, an activation study was conducted to gather data on sport participation, sport organisation, and the social significance of sport in Austria, pinpointing both the current situation and the deficits. Based on this study, optimising measures were drawn up to be carried out in further project phases.

As a first step, the Austrians not participating in sport were sociodemographically structured, using Desk-Research-Analysis. With the help of existing literature and current studies, the relevant attitudes of the target group were identified. The main aim was the differentiation of the inactive 60% of the Austrian population in subgroups and a rough classification to their potential with regard to sport participation. 102 persons with no or little sport participation from all parts of Austria were questioned. In qualitative interviews, motivators (positive driving forces) as well as de-motivators (inhibiting factors) were determined. In a further step, sport experts were questioned in group discussions to gather recommendations and observations to add to the results of the study.

The most important task was the compilation of a catalogue of measures to increase sport participation in Austria. These measures aim at a new and improved self-concept of sports clubs and generally a new public image of sport in Austria. In addition to traditional activities in competitive sports, sports clubs should take on the tasks of propagating health improvement and prevention of civilisation diseases; tasks which, possibly in conjunction with other institutions and with the aid of advertising campaigns, should be extended after initiation.