Variations in area-level disadvantage of Australian registered fitness trainers usual training locations

Bennie, Jason A. ORCID: and van Uffelen, Jannique G. Z. and Banting, Lauren K. and Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: and Thornton, Lukar E. (2016) Variations in area-level disadvantage of Australian registered fitness trainers usual training locations. BMC Public Health, 16. pp. 1-7.

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Background: Leisure-time physical activity and strength training participation levels are low and socioeconomically distributed. Fitness trainers (e.g. gym/group instructors) may have a role in increasing these participation levels. However, it is not known whether the training location and characteristics of Australian fitness trainers vary between areas that differ in socioeconomic status. Methods: In 2014, a sample of 1,189 Australian trainers completed an online survey with questions about personal and fitness industry-related characteristics (e.g. qualifications, setting, and experience) and postcode of their usual training location. The Australian Bureau of Statistics 'Index of Relative Socioeconomic Disadvantage' (IRSD) was matched to training location and used to assess where fitness professionals trained and whether their experience, qualification level and delivery methods differed by area-level disadvantage. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between IRSD score and selected characteristics adjusting for covariates (e.g. sex, age). Results: Overall, 47 % of respondents worked in areas within the three least-disadvantaged deciles. In contrast, only 14.8 % worked in the three most-disadvantaged deciles. In adjusted regression models, fitness industry qualification was positively associated with a higher IRSD score (i.e. working in the least-disadvantaged areas) (Cert III: ref; Cert IV β:13.44 [95 % CI 3.86-23.02]; Diploma β:15.77 [95 % CI: 2.17-29.37]; Undergraduate β:23.14 [95 % CI: 9.41-36.86]). Conclusions: Fewer Australian fitness trainers work in areas with high levels of socioeconomic disadvantaged areas than in areas with low levels of disadvantage. A higher level of fitness industry qualifications was associated with working in areas with lower levels of disadvantage. Future research should explore the effectiveness of providing incentives that encourage more fitness trainers and those with higher qualifications to work in more socioeconomically disadvantaged areas.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version made available under open access.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 02 May 2017 06:28
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2017 06:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: aerobic physical activity; personal trainers; socioeconomic disadvantage; strength training
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140208 Health Economics
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4299 Other health sciences > 429999 Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380108 Health economics
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 90 Commercial Services and Tourism > 9099 Other Commercial Services and Tourism > 909902 Recreational Services
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified
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