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Environmental barriers and enablers to physical activity participation among rural adults: A qualitative study

Cleland, Verity, Hughes, Clarrisa, Thornton, Lukar, Squibb, Kathryn, Venn, Alison and Ball, Kylie 2015, Environmental barriers and enablers to physical activity participation among rural adults: A qualitative study, Health promotion journal of Australia, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 99-104, doi: 10.1071/HE14115.

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Title Environmental barriers and enablers to physical activity participation among rural adults: A qualitative study
Author(s) Cleland, Verity
Hughes, Clarrisa
Thornton, LukarORCID iD for Thornton, Lukar orcid.org/0000-0001-8759-8671
Squibb, Kathryn
Venn, Alison
Ball, KylieORCID iD for Ball, Kylie orcid.org/0000-0003-2893-8415
Journal name Health promotion journal of Australia
Volume number 26
Issue number 2
Start page 99
End page 104
Total pages 6
Publisher Australian Health Promotion Association
Place of publication Maroochydore, DC
Publication date 2015-08-01
ISSN 1036-1073
2201-1617
Keyword(s) exercise behaviour
exploratory
non-metropolitan
social-ecological approach
Summary Issue addressed Social-ecological models of health behaviour acknowledge environmental influences, but research examining how the environment shapes physical activity in rural settings is limited. This study aimed to explore the environmental factors that act as barriers or facilitators to physical activity participation among rural adults. Methods Forty-nine adults from three regions of rural Tasmania, Australia, participated in semi-structured interviews that explored features of the environment that supported or hindered physical activity. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. Results Four key themes emerged: functionality, diversity, spaces and places for all and realistic expectations. 'Functionality' included connectivity with other destinations, distance, safety, continuity, supporting infrastructure and surfacing. While there was limited 'diversity' of structured activities and recreational facilities, the importance of easy and convenient access to a natural environment that accommodated physical activity was highlighted. 'Spaces and places for all' highlighted the importance of shared-use areas, particularly those that were family-and dog-friendly. Despite desires for more physical activity opportunities, many participants had 'realistic expectations' of what was feasible in rural settings. Conclusions Functionality, diversity, spaces and places for all and realistic expectations were identified as considerations important for physical activity among rural adults. Further research using quantitative approaches in larger samples is needed to confirm these findings. So what? Urban-centric views of environmental influences on physical activity are unlikely to be entirely appropriate for rural areas. Evidence-based recommendations are provided for creating new or modifying existing infrastructure to support active living in rural settings.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/HE14115
Field of Research 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920405 Environmental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Australian Health Promotion Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30077045

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.