Journal Article

Strategic initiatives to promote participation in physical activity

NEVILLE OWEN

in Health Promotion International

Volume 11, issue 3, pages 213-218
Published in print September 1996 | ISSN: 0957-4824
e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/11.3.213
Strategic initiatives to promote participation in physical activity

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Future reductions in the overall burden of ill-health and premature death from cardiovascular disease are likely to follow from reductions in the proportions of the population who are physically inactive. More benefit is likely to be gained from activating the sedentary than from persuading those who are already active to become more active. Population studies of exercise behaviour from New Zealand, North America and Australia have found that 25–30% of adults are sedentary in their leisure time. Australia's National Health Goals and Targets are described as an example of recent initiatives in industrialised countries to increase physical activity levels on a population-wide basis. Evaluations of recent nationwide campaigns in Australia suggest the need for a realistic awareness of what can and cannot be achieved by mass-media information and persuasion to encourage sedentary people to be more active. Primary-health-care practitioners (particularly general practitioners and those educated in the exercise and sport sciences) have a key role to play in advising and encouraging sedentary people to be more active, particularly by focusing on each of the different stages of change in physical activity (precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance). Health-care practitioners should also be contributing to informed public debate not only by disseminating information on the benefits of a physically active lifestyle, but also by advocating for appropriate environmental and social changes which would encourage inactive people to be more active.

Keywords: campaign; physical activity; population; stage of change

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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