Low Income Earners fact sheet

This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach individuals and families on low or limiting incomes and how to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

How to reach low income earners

  • People on low incomes are likely to be attracted to messages that are simple, clear, factual and fun.
  • Low income households focus on free low cost value for money activities that they can participate in close to home.
  • Contact via a range of avenues including social media, printed material, word of mouth and community support agencies.
  • Neighbourhood centres, local welfare, and health agencies and other community groups in socially disadvantaged areas could provide information about the benefits of physical activities and the availability of programs and facilities.

Key motivating factors for participation

  • Affordable, low cost and free activities ie. discounted or free passes to facilities.
  • Highlight health and wellbeing benefits that sport and physical activity can bring ie. ‘make you feel better, improve social networks, build confidence and leadership skills.'
  • Activities where there are social and educational benefits in participating
  • Provision of low cost transport.
  • Links between schools and sport that encourage participation and offer skill development at school and participation opportunities.
  • Neighbourhood based activities.

Low income earners profile

Moreland has a lower average income. Low income earners often experience other disadvantages such as:

  • low education attainment, and
  • high unemployment.

* People on low incomes are generally defined as people who may be unemployed or who are only employed on a part time or casual basis. They may also be relying on some type of government assistance as their main source of income i.e. Carer Payment, Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance etc. people on a low income may be socially disadvantaged and have lower levels of education.

 “The involvement of friends and family helps facilitate participation in sport”

Participation in regular physical activity has a wide range of health and well being benefits for all people, including physical, functional, psychological and social benefits and contributes to disease prevention.

The messages need to portray sport and physical activity as inexpensive and non-exclusive. The social connections and health benefits of physical activity need to be reinforced.

  • More than 30 per cent of Moreland residents are renting which is significantly higher than the Greater Melbourne area average of 26.5 per cent
  • 41.3 per centof households only have one car, 27.7 per cent have two cars and 14 per cent not having a car at all
  • Half of Moreland's population is in the lower half of income groups, with 26.4 per cent being in the lowest quartile ($0 - $32,489) and 23.6 per cent being in the medium lowest quartile ($32,500 - $63,076)
  • Moreland has a 94 per cent rate of employment, indicating that while the majority of the population is employed, it is in lower paying jobs  

Likely barriers faced by low income groups

There are a number of likely participation barriers faced by low income earners. Whilst barriers vary for different people, some common barriers reported are:

  • lack of discretionary income and funds for leisure
  • reduced options for physical activity due to prohibitive costs
  • low self esteem
  • reliance on public transport
  • concerns about personal safety as socially disadvantages areas often experience relatively high levels of crime
  • cost of organised activities is prohibitive ie. participation and equipment
  • lower awareness of the benefits of physical activity
  • fear of exclusion based on uniforming, equipment etc.
  • time constraints due to additional workload or inability to utilise childcare due to costs
  • general lack of information on opportunities, and
  • prior negative experience within sport and physical activity based on income levels.

While low income groups may experience barriers, it is important to understand that when different demographic influences collide that severe disadvantage is likely to be experienced.

For instance, a non-English speaking family, with low to no income, and with limited education etc. then they are likely to experience greater barriers to participation.

What you can do

  • offer club discount opportunities, family friendly pricing, concessions for people living on a pension or fixed income, introductory offers, subsidise or waiver membership fees in certain circumstances or offer and instalment payment plan for fees2
  • offer the use of secondhand equipment and uniforms
  • link to schools and school hours to run activities
  • place a greater emphasis on physical activity by communicating through community support agencies, word of mouth, in print material (free local papers) and community support networks
  • provide introductory workshops and education information sessions to highlight the benefits of physical activity: ‘stress release and relaxation, being outdoors is fun for all the family, get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air
  • include community fundraising opportunities that may allow low income earners to thrive in their chosen sport, and
  • opportunities within walking or cycling distance and provision of safe, accessible and appealing environments including walkways and footpaths.


Low Income Earners fact sheet (PDF 574Kb)