Journal Article

Promoting physical activity in women: evaluation of a 2-year community-based intervention in Sydney, Australia

Li Ming Wen, Margaret Thomas, Helen Jones, Neil Orr, Renee Moreton, Lesley King, Penny Hawe, Jeni Bindon, Jenni Humphries, Karin Schicht, Shauna Corne and Adrian Bauman

in Health Promotion International

Volume 17, issue 2, pages 127-137
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI:
Promoting physical activity in women: evaluation of a 2-year community-based intervention in Sydney, Australia

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Women are less likely than men to reach recommended levels of physical activity and have unequal access to active leisure time. Studies in Australia have consistently found that women are only half as likely as men to be adequately active. A community-based multi-strategic health promotion intervention, ‘Concord, A Great Place to be Active’, was implemented from 1997 to 1999. It aimed to increase the physical activity levels of women aged 20–50 years living in the Concord Local Government Area (LGA), an inner-western region of Sydney, Australia. A key feature of this intervention was a partnership between Concord Council (the local government) and the Central Sydney Health Promotion Unit (CSHPU). The project was evaluated using qualitative and quantitative methods. Key informant interviews and focus groups were conducted to inform the development of the intervention and to assess the impact of the project on Concord Council. Pre- and post-intervention telephone surveys of the target group were also conducted. Following the intervention, there was a statistically significant (6.4%) reduction in the proportion of sedentary women. Further, there were a number of positive enhancements in the Council's capacity to promote physical activity in the community. These findings demonstrate that a community-based intervention targeting a specific population can achieve positive changes in physical activity and that a local government has the capacity to be involved in and sustain physical activity interventions.

Keywords: health promotion; physical activity; women

Journal Article.  6379 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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