Not quite city and not quite rural: active lifestyle beliefs in peri-urban Australians

Olson, Jenny L. and March, Sonja ORCID: and Clough, Bonnie and Biddle, Stuart J. H. ORCID: and Ireland, Michael (2019) Not quite city and not quite rural: active lifestyle beliefs in peri-urban Australians. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 30 (S1). pp. 72-84. ISSN 1036-1073


Residents of peri-urban Australia face health inequalities compared to city dwellers. Active lifestyles provide many benefits that could improve the health of this population; however, peri-urban Australians are more likely to be inactive and sedentary. The aim of this study was to identify the physical activity and sedentary behaviour-related beliefs of peri-urban Australians.

Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with adult residents of peri-urban, southern Queensland. Participants (N = 8) were recruited from a related study, purposefully selected to ensure diversity. Data were analysed by thematic analysis. Interviews were conducted until data and inductive-thematic saturation were reached.

Three themes were identified, representing beliefs about intrapersonal, interpersonal/socio-cultural and physical environmental factors relevant to active lifestyles among peri-urban Australians. Active lifestyle behaviours were perceived as beneficial for health. Social interaction was described as an important outcome of physical activity. Features of the physical environment negatively impacted the perceived difficulty of performing physical activity and avoiding sedentary behaviour.

Active lifestyle strategies that support social interaction through physical activity and participation in sports may be particularly useful in peri-urban environments where opportunities for social interaction are limited. Such strategies should also take into account contextual factors that negatively impact active lifestyle control beliefs (eg, distance). SO WHAT?: This study provides insight into factors that may influence the active lifestyles of peri-urban Australians. This information can be used to develop contextually relevant strategies designed to encourage physical activity, discourage sedentary behaviour and assist to relieve health disparities faced by this population.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health, Informatics and Economic Research (1 Aug 2018 - 31 Mar 2020)
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 03:35
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2022 00:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: behavioural theory; physical activity; qualitative methods; rural and regional health
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420603 Health promotion
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
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