Sex-specific correlates of adult physical activity in an Australian rural community

Suzanne CARROLL, James Dollman, Mark DANIEL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Rural Australians have a higher likelihood of chronic disease and lower levels of physical activity than urban Australians. Little is known of the factors associated with physical activity among rural‐dwelling Australians. This study sought to determine the correlates of physical activity among men and women of the South Australian Riverland region. Design: Cross‐sectional survey.
Setting: Regional area. Participants: There are 299 randomly selected 18–65 year olds. Main outcome measures. Determinations of insufficient and sufficient physical activity levels based on public health recommendations. Results: Using logistic regression: in men, sufficient physical activity was associated with reporting perceived sufficient physical activity for health (odds ratio 3.194 [1.703–5.989]), and having friends who encouraged physical activity (3.641 [1.450–9.141]). Men who reported insufficient time (0.350 [0.151–0.812]) and getting enough physical activity at their job (0.374 [0.199–0.702]) were less likely to be sufficiently active. In women, sufficient physical activity was associated with not being employed (2.929 [1.063–8.066]), higher self‐efficacy (2.939 [1.118–7.726]) and having a regular physical activity routine (3.404 [1.829–6.337]). Older age (0.960 [0.929–0.995]), poorer self‐rated health (0.233 [0.060–0.900]) and weekend sitting time (0.823 [0.692–0.980]) were negatively associated with sufficient physical activity for women. Conclusions: Factors associated with physical activity in this rural adult population differed by sex. Sex‐specific approaches to promote physical activity might have utility for this population. Strategies to enhance social connectedness among men and encourage physical activity outside of work can be warranted. Women can require programs to help them develop a regular physical activity routine and improve self‐efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalThe Australian journal of rural health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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