Addressing inequalities in physical activity participation: Implications for public health policy and practice

Ruth F. Hunter, Marco Boeri, Mark A. Tully, Paul Donnelly, Frank Kee

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16 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the characteristics of those doing no moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (0days/week), some MVPA (1-4days/week) and sufficient MVPA (≥5days/week) to meet the guidelines in order to effectively develop and target PA interventions to address inequalities in participation.

METHOD: A population survey (2010/2011) of 4653 UK adults provided data on PA and socio-demographic characteristics. An ordered logit model investigated the covariates of 1) participating in no PA, 2) participating in some PA, and 3) meeting the PA guidelines. Model predictions were derived for stereotypical subgroups to highlight important policy and practice implications.

RESULTS: Mean age of participants was 45years old (95% CI 44.51, 45.58) and 42% were male. Probability forecasting showed that males older than 55years of age (probability=0.20; 95% CI 0.11, 0.28), and both males (probability=0.31; 95% CI 0.17, 0.45) and females (probability=0.38; 95% CI 0.27, 0.50) who report poor health are significantly more likely to do no PA.

CONCLUSIONS: Understanding the characteristics of those doing no MVPA and some MVPA could help develop population-level interventions targeting those most in need. Findings suggest that interventions are needed to target older adults, particularly males, and those who report poor health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Early online date06 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Hunter, Ruth F Boeri, Marco Tully, Mark A Donnelly, Paul Kee, Frank eng British Heart Foundation/United Kingdom MR/K023241/1/Medical Research Council/United Kingdom Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council/United Kingdom Department of Health/United Kingdom G0802045/Medical Research Council/United Kingdom Cancer Research UK/United Kingdom Chief Scientist Office/United Kingdom Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Prev Med. 2015 Mar;72:64-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.12.040. Epub 2015 Jan 6.


  • Adolescent Adult Age Factors Aged *Exercise/psychology Female *Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice *Health Policy *Health Status Humans Male Middle Aged Northern Ireland Sedentary Behavior Young Adult Econometric modelling Health promotion Physical activity UK Physical Activity Guidelines


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