Urban area disadvantage and physical activity: a multilevel study in Melbourne, Australia

Kavanagh, Anne M., Goller, Jane L., King, Tania, Jolley, Damien, Crawford, David and Turrell, Gavin 2005, Urban area disadvantage and physical activity: a multilevel study in Melbourne, Australia, Journal of epidemiology and community health, vol. 59, pp. 934-940.

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Title Urban area disadvantage and physical activity: a multilevel study in Melbourne, Australia
Author(s) Kavanagh, Anne M.
Goller, Jane L.
King, Tania
Jolley, Damien
Crawford, David
Turrell, Gavin
Journal name Journal of epidemiology and community health
Volume number 59
Start page 934
End page 940
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2005
ISSN 0143-005X
1470-2738
Keyword(s) physical activity
socioeconomic status
multilevel analysis
Summary Objective: To estimate variation between small areas in the levels of walking, cycling, jogging, and swimming and overall physical activity and the importance of area level socioeconomic disadvantage in predicting physical activity participation.

Methods: All census collector districts (CCDs) in the 20 innermost local government areas in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, were identified and ranked by the percentage of low income households (<$400/week) living in the CCD. Fifty CCDs were randomly selected from the least, middle, and most disadvantaged septiles of the ranked CCDs and 2349 residents (58.7% participation rate) participated in a cross sectional postal survey about physical activity. Multilevel logistic regression (adjusted for extrabinomial variation) was used to estimate area level variation in walking, cycling, jogging, and swimming and in overall physical activity participation, and the importance of area level socioeconomic disadvantage in predicting physical activity participation.

Results: There were significant variations between CCDs in all activities and in overall physical participation in age and sex adjusted models; however, after adjustment for individual SES (income, occupation, education) and area level socioeconomic disadvantage, significant differences remained only for walking (p = 0.004), cycling (p = 0.003), and swimming (p = 0.024). Living in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas was associated with a decreased likelihood of jogging and of having overall physical activity levels that were sufficiently active for health; these effects remained after adjustment for individual socioeconomic status (sufficiently active: OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.90 and jogging: OR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.51 to 0.94).

Conclusion: These research findings support the need to focus on improving local environments to increase physical activity participation.

Abbreviations: SES, socioeconomic status; CCD, census collector district


Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008835

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