Skip to main content
Stay updated

Physical Activity Strategy 2019–2023

Research and Publications

VicHealth’s Action Agenda 2019–2023 reaffirms the 10-year goal that 300,000 more Victorians will engage in physical activity by 2023.

Download: VicHealth's Physical Activity Strategy 2019 - 2023 (PDF, 154 KB)

Click here to download a Plain English version of this document (DOCX, 128 KB)

Regular physical activity has major benefits for health and wellbeing. It reduces people’s risk of conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. It also helps reduce social isolation, strengthens social connection and improves mental wellbeing.

In 2013, VicHealth released its Action Agenda for Health Promotion, which set our strategic direction for the 10 years to 2023. Promoting physical activity is one of the five strategic imperatives identified for action to improve the health of all Victorians, with a 10-year goal that 300,000 more Victorians will engage in physical activity by 2023.

Focus areas

Fear of judgement experienced by women

VicHealth’s campaign This Girl Can – Victoria will continue to smash stereotypes about where and how women can be active. It will empower more women to feel comfortable in their bodies and in public spaces, and inspire them to become more active.

Building on the success of the first two years of the campaign, we will:

  • continue to work with the community and our partners to change social norms and increase positive attitudes towards strong, powerful, active women
  • continue to support and build the confidence of women and girls to participate in physical activity
  • extend the reach of the campaign with local engagement strategies, tools and resources
  • ensure the campaign remains relevant for women experiencing disadvantage
  • assist physical activity providers to understand the fear of judgement, support women who are less active and create welcoming and inclusive environments
  • continue to invest in and promote tailored participation opportunities for women and girls in sport
  • seek to improve policies, practices and environments in settings outside formal sport, such as gyms, community facilities and open spaces
  • require selected sport and recreation organisations that receive VicHealth funding to have a minimum of 40 per cent female representation on their governing body
  • build understanding of the interplay of barriers to women and girls participating in physical activity.

What will success look like?
More women and girls are physically active.


Social sport, active recreation and play

We will continue to champion social and informal (or less structured) versions of sport and active recreation though to 2023.

Our social and informal programs will focus on three main groups:

  • young people (12–17 years)
  • women and girls
  • population groups who face the greatest barriers to being active.

To increase support for this work, we will:

  • continue to inspire change and foster innovation in the sport and active recreation sector
  • share our key learnings and encourage others to embed them in their practice
  • support the scaling-up of the programs we have seed-funded
  • explore and confirm the program elements that lead to sustainability
  • continue to facilitate partnerships, local solutions and co-designed approaches
  • work with our partners to create more opportunities for children to play and be active outdoors
  • influence the design and use of public spaces for recreation
  • conduct research into the value of self-organised informal sport, and which policies better enable it at a local level.

What will success look like?
A greater number of people who are less active participating in social versions of sport and active recreation.


Walking and active travel

We will continue to help create a culture and environments that normalise active travel and encourage short neighbourhood trips to be active ones.

We will:

  • continue to deliver the Walk to School program to embed walking, riding and scooting to and from school in families’ lives, so that children are more confident to walk by themselves
  • explore opportunities to work with councils to develop environments that support neighbourhood walking
  • continue to fund Victoria Walks to support local councils to embed the economic case for investment in walking in local planning submissions and decision-making frameworks
  • collaborate with government departments (such as transport, planning and education) that play a role in supporting active transport, to align programs and funding opportunities better to inform a Victorian walking strategy and other significant strategies and policies
  • continue to build on the body of knowledge on active travel behaviour and barriers to active travel, through investment in research and translation
  • test and trial approaches to increase the number of Victorians actively walking, including women, Indigenous communities and other people who face greater disadvantage.

What will success look like?

An increase in the proportion of Victorians walking and participating in active travel.

Other resources

Download: VicHealth's Physical Activity Strategy 2018 - 2023 (PDF, 136 KB)


You might also be interested in these

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.