Recreational Sport and Exercise


Irish Sports Council

Key information

The levels of recreational physical activity of the population; participation in sport classified by season, number of sports, length and number of sessions per week, degree of effort, educational attainment, sex, age, household income, occupation, nationality and county; the most popular sports for participation, club membership and attendance; participation in recreational walking classified by season, number of walks per week, age, sex, partnership status and residential location. Volunteering for sport-related activity classified by season, age, sex, presence of children, disability status, educational attainment and household income; volunteering activity classified by sex; time devoted to volunteering classified by age and sex; club membership classified by season, age, sex, disability, income and educational attainment; attendance at sporting fixtures classified by season, age, sex, educational attainment and income.


Irish Sports Council commissioned telephone-based survey.


All persons aged 16 and over engaged in both competitive and recreational sport.



Reference period

The previous seven days from the date of survey, carried out throughout the reference year

Start date



Two years after the end of the reference period


  • County
    The 26 geographic counties, except that Tipperary NR, Tipperary SR, Dublin CC, Dublin DLR, Dublin F and Dublin S are distinguished.
  • Activity level
    Highly active; Fairly active; Just active; Sedentary.
  • Activity effort
    Little effort; Raised breathing; Out of breath/sweating.
  • Sports context
    On own; Family or friends; Organised session; Organised competition.
  • Educational attainment
    Primary cert; Junior cert; Leaving cert; Other 2nd level; Third level; Current student;
  • Age
    16-25 years; 26-35; 36-45;46-55; 56-65; 66+ years.
  • Occupation
    Non-manual; Manual; No occupation.
  • Nationality
    Irish; British; Other EU; Other Anglo; Rest of world.
  • Sport type
    Soccer; Golf; Personal exercise; Swimming; Jogging; Gaelic football; Cycling; Hurling; Rugby; Dancing; Yoga; Tennis; Horse riding.
  • Partnership status (walking)
    Single; Partnered; Separated/divorced.
  • Location (walking)
    City; Town; Village; Isolated.
  • Disability status (volunteering)
    No disability; Disabled, prevented; Disabled, possible.
  • Voluntary activity
    Referee; Mentor; Selector; Kit maintenance; Activity organiser; Club official; Coach; Providing transport; Other.


People and Society - Health

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