Regional differences in correlates of daily walking among middle age and older Australian rural adults: Implications for health promotion

James Dollman, Melissa Hull, Nicole Lewis, Suzanne Carroll, Dorota Zarnowiecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Rural Australians are less physically active than their metropolitan counterparts, and yet very little is known of the candidate intervention targets for promoting physical activity in rural populations. As rural regions are economically, socially and environmentally diverse, drivers of regular physical activity are likely to vary between regions. This study explored the region-specific correlates of daily walking among middle age and older adults in rural regions with contrasting dominant primary industries. Participants were recruited through print and electronic media, primary care settings and community organisations. Pedometers were worn by 153 adults for at least four days, including a weekend day. A questionnaire identified potential intra-personal, social and environmental correlates of physical activity, according to a social ecological framework. Regression modelling identified independent correlates of daily walking separately in the two study regions. In one region, there were independent correlates of walking from all levels of the social ecological framework. In the other region, significant correlates of daily walking were almost all demographic (age, education and marital status). Participants living alone were less likely to be physically active regardless of region. This study highlights the importance of considering region-specific factors when designing strategies for promoting regular walking among rural adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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