by Michael Rosenberg, Johanna Clarkson, Ray James, Trevor Shilton and Marina Norris
Issue addressed: Attempts to increase community participation in physical activity through the promotion of walking have increased in recent times. However, the contribution of walking in the achievement of sufficient levels of physical activity for health benefits has not been investigated.
Methods: A telephone-administered survey on the physical activity patterns of residents in two urban areas of Western Australia (n=1,005) was conducted in November 1999, using physical activity questions derived from the Active Australia 2000 survey.
Results: Among those in the sample who were insufficiently active (40%), the majority (77%) participated in only one type of exercise intensity (moderate or vigorous) and that exercise intensity was most likely walking. This compared with sufficiently active respondents who were likely to have combined walking with other moderate and vigorous activities.
Conclusions: The results suggest that while walking is likely to appeal to the majority of respondents, those who combine their walking with other types of moderate and vigorous activity are the most likely to achieve sufficient levels of physical activities.
Key words: Physical activity, walking, promotion, community.
Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2004;15:73-7
The results suggest that physical activity campaigns primarily focused on increasing walking should also consider promoting participation in other types of activity, particularly vigorous-intensity activities to increase the likelihood of people achieving sufficient levels of physical activity.