Inactive lifestyles in peri‐urban Australia: a qualitative examination of social and physical environmental determinants

Olson, Jenny L. and March, Sonja and Brownlow, Charlotte and Biddle, Stuart J. H. and Ireland, Michael (2018) Inactive lifestyles in peri‐urban Australia: a qualitative examination of social and physical environmental determinants. Health Promotion Journal of Australia. ISSN 1036-1073

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Abstract

ISSUE ADDRESSED:
Australians living in peri-urban areas are insufficiently active, sedentary and experience poorer health than people in major cities. There are health benefits attributable to active lifestyles that could contribute to the improved health and well-being of this population. To support the adoption of active lifestyles, it is important to understand the unique context in which behaviour occurs.

METHODS:
The aim of this study was to identify characteristics of the social and physical peri-urban environment that may impact active lifestyles. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in peri-urban southern Queensland. Data were analysed by thematic analysis.

RESULTS:
The natural environment, weather, distance, accessibility and walkability were features of the physical environment relevant to active lifestyles. Social factors included social capital and crime. Activity-supportive characteristics (eg, community spirit) were identified, in addition to active lifestyle barriers (eg, lack of public transport).

CONCLUSIONS:
Despite activity-supportive social and environmental characteristics, most participants reported inactive lifestyles. The barriers to active lifestyles in peri-urban environments may negate these activity-supportive features. Some barriers are difficult to modify (eg, distance and accessibility). However, some may be alleviated through the adoption of activity-supportive policy and urban design (eg, pedestrian mobility infrastructure). SO WHAT?: Strategies to support active lifestyles in peri-urban environments must take into account unmodifiable contextual barriers, whilst encouraging utilisation of existing activity-supportive infrastructure and resources. The enhancement of activity-supportive environments through improved neighbourhood walkability and the usability of public transport may encourage some peri-urban residents to undertake more active forms of transport and recreational physical activity.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 31 August 2018. Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2019 04:44
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 01:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: health behaviour; nonmetropolitan; physical activity; qualitative methods; sedentary behaviour
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/hpja.199
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35022

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