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Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090554
  • Original articles

How, where and with whom? Physical activity context preferences of three adult groups at risk of inactivity

  1. Wendy J Brown1
  1. 1School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia
  2. 2School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Nicola Winship Burton, Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Blair Drive, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia; nburton{at}hms.uq.edu.au
  • Received 4 September 2011
  • Accepted 26 November 2011
  • Published Online First 20 January 2012

Abstract

Background Strategies to promote physical activity may be more successful if they reflect people's interests.

Purpose To explore physical activity contexts preferred by three adult groups at risk of inactivity: older adults, those with low income and those with high body mass index (BMI).

Methods Cross-sectional data were from a mail survey of 7873 adults aged 42–67 years. Respondents indicated the extent of disagreement or agreement with a preference for each of 14 contexts relating to format (eg, vigorous), location (eg, outdoors) and social setting (eg, done alone). Data were analysed using multilevel multinomial logistic regression. Adjusted OR and 95% CI are reported.

Results Those aged 60–67 (vs 42–49) years had significantly higher odds to prefer activities with people of same age, and significantly lower odds to prefer activities that are at a fixed time with scheduled sessions, competitive, team-based or vigorous. Adults with low (vs high) income had significantly higher odds to prefer activities that are low cost, not just about exercise, team-based, supervised, skill-based or that can be done alone, and significantly lower odds to prefer vigorous or outdoor activities. Adults with BMI 30+ (vs<25) had significantly higher odds to prefer activities that are supervised, with people the same sex, team-based, with people the same age, or at a fixed time with scheduled sessions.

Conclusions These three groups had distinct preferences for how, where and with whom the physical activity is done. This information could be used by those who promote, design, deliver and evaluate physical activity opportunities.

Footnotes

  • Funding (Australian) National Health & Medical Research Council.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval QUT Human Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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