Teenagers are less likely to smoke and drink alcohol but are far more physically inactive than a decade ago, new statistics show.
A report on health risks released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that smoking was down in all age groups.
Teenagers were the only age group less likely to have consumed alcohol, with the proportion of secondary school students aged 12 to 17 drinking alcohol at risky levels declining between 1984 and 2008.
But physical inactivity was a particular problem for teenagers – for whom an hour or more each day of at least moderate intensity exercise is recommended, compared to 30 minutes for adults.
The proportion of teenagers aged 15 to 17 who did no exercise increased from 16 to 22 per cent between 1995 and 2008, including more females than males.
A total of 85 per cent of teenagers did less than the recommended hour of exercise each day, and those who did exercise spent 1.3 hours less time doing so each fortnight.