Physical activity in three regional communities in Queensland

Brown, Wendy J., Burton, Nicola, Sahlqvist, Shannon, Heesch, Kristiann, McCarthy, KB, Ng, Norman, & van Uffelen, Jannique G.Z. (2013) Physical activity in three regional communities in Queensland. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 21(2), pp. 112-120.

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Objective. To describe physical activity participation in three Queensland regional communities.

Design. Cross-sectional mail survey of randomly selected residents, stratified by age and sex.

Setting. Esk, Mareeba and Mount Isa.

Participants. 1219 (58% female) adults, with a mean age 46.7 (SD 14.7) years.

Main outcome measures. Proportion of people inactive, meeting Australian activity guidelines (a minimum of 150 minutes/week and 5 sessions/week), and walking a dog daily; time spent walking and cycling for transport; location and type of recreational physical activities.

Results. Overall, 18% of respondents were inactive, with the highest proportions among women (22.3%) and older adults in Mount Isa (24.3%). The proportion meeting activity guidelines was 47% with the lowest proportions among women in Mount Isa (40.4%). Although 63% reported owning a dog, only 22% reported walking a dog daily. Few people reported walking or cycling for transport. The most common types of activities were walking, home-based exercise, running/jogging, and swimming, and the most common location was at or near home.

Conclusions. Physical activity levels were lower in these regional communities than the state average. The findings indicate a need for physical activity policy and intervention strategies targeting regional and rural areas. This could focus on women and older adults, dog walking, and physical activity opportunities in or near the home.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 56136
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: rural health, physical activity, exercise, recreation, inactivity, leisure
DOI: 10.1111/ajr.12015
ISSN: 1440-1584 (online) 1038-5282 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The Authors
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 08 Jan 2013 04:14
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2014 22:13

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