Individual perceptions of physical activity in a community-level initiative in North Queensland, Australia

Gayton, S., Caltabiano, M., Barnett, F., and Rogerson, B. (2016) Individual perceptions of physical activity in a community-level initiative in North Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 23 (Supplement 1). 0589. S191-S191.

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Introduction: Community-level health initiatives advertise the benefits of physical activity, however, it is unknown how personally relevant these promoted benefits are to those who take part. The purpose of this study was to describe the personal experience of participation in the health programs, and to identify how appropriate the participants felt the programs were. Methods: Participants were rural North Queensland residents participating in Australian federal government funded health initiative programs offered by their local council. There were 25 participants (10 males, 15 females) whose ages ranged from 47 to 79. Twenty-one were in the 12-week Diabetes Australia Beat It program, and four participants were in a 10-week water aerobics program. Qualitative data was provided by participants during semi-structured interviews which asked about current exercise habits, reason for taking part in the program and opinions about the program and facilitators.

Results: Thematic Analysis was used to analyze the data. It was an inductive analysis that assessed semantic themes from a realist perspective. The themes fond detail the personal definition of exercise (Exercise to me), the physical benefits of exercise (Keep yourself, Future fitness, Observed changes), and the psychological benefits of exercise (socializing, challenging oneself, sense of achievement).

Conclusions: The benefits that participants felt they gained from the physical fitness program, and their reasons for attending were different to the programs' expected outcomes. Programs should aim to appeal and cater to the needs of a wide group of people who have limited access to exercise facilities and health behaviour programs.

Item ID: 46703
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1532-7558
Additional Information:

Presented at 2016 ICBM: 14th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine: behavioral medicine: making an impact in the modern world, 7-10 December 2016, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2016 22:44
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 100%
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